THE quest to find an owner for the former Murray Goulburn factory in Koroit has received a boost with support coming from Moyne Shire Council.
While the factory continues to operate under the ownership of Saputo, with independent management, its long-term future remains uncertain.
Saputo is still seeking a buyer for the factory which was the jewel in the Murray Goulburn crown.
Moyne Shire councillor Daniel Meade said keeping a milk processing factory alive in Koroit was a must for the town.
“It is critical for Koroit to have a thriving milk factory,” Cr Meade said.
“As a councillor, I am keen to come out publicly and say to any prospective buyer that council will be doing what it can to offer support within whatever means we have.
“The factory is too important asset for Koroit to lose it.”
Cr Jim Doukas has echoed Cr Meade’s sentiments, saying the Koroit economy needs a thriving factory.
Cr Doukas is upbeat about the future.
“Someone will buy the factory, the chances of it closing are a thousand to one,” he said.
“It has been the best dairy factory in Australia for years and it is located in the best dairy land in the state.
“It is a state-of-the-art factory and has a ready made staff who know what they are doing.
“There is also plenty of opportunities for expansion.
“Before Murray Goulburn fell over, their plans to build a new drier to make baby formula were very advanced and they worked closely with council on the permit process, so that could be reignited quickly.”
Saputo paid $1.3 billion for Murray Goulburn, but under the deal, has agreed to sell off the Koroit factory.
This is to counter concerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it would have too much control of the regional milk market if it kept the plant.
The end of June is the target timeline for the sale of Koroit to be completed.