AUSTRALIA – Bega’s has announced the closure of the Betta Milk factory in Burnie blowing the dairy processing industry in North West Tasmania.

The factory, acquired by Bega in December, will be closed with the loss of 21 jobs.

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) expressed disappointment, emphasizing the preference for infrastructure updates rather than the closure of the long-standing Betta Milk operation.

Robert Flanagan from AWU highlighted the factory’s 70-year presence in Burnie and its integral role in the local community.

The union is actively engaging with Saputo and Fonterra, companies with factories in the region, to explore employment opportunities for Betta Milk workers.

Both companies have shown support in placing these workers within their respective operations, considering their discrete skill set within the dairy sector.

Flanagan emphasized the importance of preventing the loss of regional jobs and noted the willingness of workers to readily adjust to the working environment of Saputo and Fonterra.

The move to close the Burnie facility and relocate production to Lenah Valley in Hobart is part of a strategic review by Bega Group to ensure the continued success of Betta Milk and Pyengana brands.

Bega Group CEO Pete Findlay acknowledged the difficulty of the decision and assured support for affected employees, offering redundancy packages and exploring redeployment opportunities.

The closure of the Burnie site, which currently manufactures Betta Milk and Pyengana milk brands, will begin the transition in March.

Bega Group remains committed to maintaining a strong local presence in Tasmania, supporting dairy farming families in the region, and strengthening its connection to the local community through various initiatives.

The Department of State Growth has confirmed that affected workers will receive support to find new employment or retrain for different roles.

Jobs Tasmania will engage with Bega to ensure impacted employees receive comprehensive support and information about their options, including the Rapid Response Skills Initiative, offering financial assistance for skill development.

Businesses concerned about the impact, including suppliers and contractors, are encouraged to contact Business Tasmania for advice and support.

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