News

 

Milk processing funding boost

AN ambitious plan to build a milk processing plant at Cohuna has gained significant Federal Government funding support.

 

The government is backing the vision and capability of the plant by allocating a grant of $634,000 towards the planning, environmental and commercial costs of the development.

 

The plant is proposed for a site in the industrial estate on Cohuna's eastern outskirts.

 

The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP, the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Senator Bridget McKenzie joined the Member for Murray, Damian Drum as they announced the successful grant recipients for the Goulburn Valley.

 

Cohuna-based No Bull Milk Processing was given special permission to apply to the Regional Jobs and Investment Package program, even though it was 16 kilometres outside of the assigned boundary.

 

Investor John Mawson said that the project involves attracting milk from farmers across a broad

 

regional network including the Goulburn Valley.

 

"It's a big task to secure 300 million litres per annum, but it is achievable when we engage with farmers in

 

Gannawarra, Swan Hill, Campaspe, and west of Shepparton," he said.

 

Domestic and international enterprises have expressed interest in building and operating the proposed Cohuna plant and No Bull Milk Processing have been pleased with the progress so far.

 

Fellow investor, Jason Wright said that this grant application focused on developing jobs

 

and growth.

 

"It is also a message from the Commonwealth that shows the strength of our proposal," he said.

 

Both Dr Wright and Mr Mawson thanked all the MPs and departmental people who had

 

recognised the potential of the No Bull proposal and supported it.

 

"A fair hearing from former Minister [for Industry, Innovation and Science], Arthur Sinodinos was greatly appreciated, as was the engagement shown by our State MP, Peter Walsh and neighbouring Federal representatives, Damian Drum and Bridgette MacKenzie," Dr Wright said.

 

Gannawarra Times 29 Mar 2018,

$130 million dairy project mooted

AN ambitious plan to develop milk processing facilities at Cohuna is gaining momentum.

 

Local business interests are behind a proposal to facilitate the construction of a multi-million dollar processing plant on a section of the Keely Industrial Estate on the town's south-eastern outskirts.

 

Approval and design work is well advanced on a plant to process 300 million litres of milk per annum, including a drying plant for export and domestic production and a possible butter plant.

 

Detailed analysis is being undertaken by specialists in milk processing plant design and waste treatment to ensure the facility meets the latest emission and energy standards.

 

Local businessmen, John Mawson and Jason Wright, have set up No Bull Milk Processing Pty Ltd and are the proponents of the estimated $130 million plant.

 

Mr Mawson, who manages the entirely separate Mawson's concrete and quarrying business, said that the project had advanced to the stage of obtaining quotes for construction and that feedback from local farmers was very positive.

 

"I can understand some people being cynical given that this project has been proposed before and that the amount of money needed is well beyond Jason and my resources but the closure of the Murray Goulburn plant at Rochester has exaggerated the need for farmers to have some place close to have their milk processed efficiently," he said.

 

"Rather than have their milk sent 120 kilometres away, they can have it processed here and that will generate local jobs and help ensure that farmers in this area remain profitable. But from the meetings with farmers we have had it is clear, the Cohuna factory will have to pay very competitive milk prices be viable, otherwise it's not a goer. So long as farmers can get secure payment of competitive prices they say that they would prefer to supply a local plant, it just makes sense to maximise the expertise and resources we have in this area. We have a highly productive dairy sector, feed suppliers, veterinarians, AI [artificial breeding]… We have the infrastructure, a top quality product and we have the know-how," he said

 

A number of domestic and international enterprises have expressed interest in building and operating the plant.

 

Mr Mawson said that the scope of the project would involve attracting milk from farmers in a broad region.

 

"It's not just for around Cohuna," he said.

 

International commodity consultants have compiled financial forecasts and budgets for No Bull Milk Processing Pty Ltd, and are working with the support of Gannawarra Shire Council economic development manager, Roger Griffiths.

 

Mr Griffiths said that the shire had been involved in fortnightly meetings with key stakeholders and that Regional Development Victoria had provided introductions to key infrastructure connections.

 

Mr Mawson said that he hoped that the plant would be operational by the second half of next year.

 

 

gannawarra times 27 Feb 2018