Vegetable washroom facility opened in Maffra
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today officially opened a new washroom at Australian Fresh Salads’ vegetable processing facility in Maffra.
Mr Bull said the previous Coalition Government had provided $200,000 from the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund toward Australian Fresh Salads’ $1.7 million construction of its Maffra vegetable processing facility.
“This project has been a significant benefit for employment in the region with local contractors engaged during the construction phase of the facility, including electricians, plumbers, concreters, building surveyors and engineers.
“As a direct result of this project, we now have more full time employment generated in the Maffra district with Australian Fresh Salads increasing its workforce at the facility. It has employed more skilled labour including business managers, harvest and production coordinators, quality assurance coordinators and production managers to name a few,” he said.
Australian Fresh Salads’ Business Improvement Manager, Andrew Dimarco, said the project achieved a number of objectives including the expansion of the current facilities to meet increasing production and processing capabilities.
“This included the purchase and installation of new vegetable processing equipment and construction of subsequent value adding production rooms which has allowed the processing of produce to be carried out within a new temperature controlled environment.
“We have upgraded existing infrastructure as well as increasing our existing footprint at the facility. This expansion includes a new washroom as well as increasing the micro testing, quality control and food safety validation operational area,” Mr Dimarco said.
Mr Bull said as a result of this project, Australian Fresh Salads is now better positioned to supply fresh cut produce to wholesale domestic markets and pre washed salads for domestic retail markets.
“The business can now look at ways in which it can successfully target the Melbourne Market and investigate expansion into export markets.”
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, officially opened the $1.7 million expansion of Australian Fresh Salads’ facilities at Maffra today. Tim is pictured with Wellington Shire Councillor, Cr Carolyn Crossley and Australian Fresh Salad Directors, Hugh Reardon and Ryan Macleod.
Community’s concerns over Lakes Entrance holiday policing levels raised
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has sought a guarantee from the Police Minister that Lakes Entrance will be adequately staffed with increased police numbers over the Christmas holiday period.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Bull said his office had heard concerns from local business leaders and community members that additional police would not be allocated and in fact there were concerns the station may even be below its full roster capacity due to staff being on secondments and maternity leave.
“From memory the station has full roster of around 17 staff and with the population to grow from 6,500 to over 50,000 over the holiday period there obviously needs to be an increased presence.
“The concerns I am hearing from the community is that while additional staff are being allocated for New Year’s Eve, there is no increased police presence for the remainder of the holiday period and in fact there may not even be a full regular roster.
“So I have asked the Minister to guarantee that not only will there be a full roster, but that there will be increased police numbers right over the holiday period to deal with this influx of people and allow pro-active policing.
“Our local officers do an outstanding job, but they do need support in peak holiday times,” he said.
Mr Bull said business and community leaders from organisations such as Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association have worked hard over many years to make Lakes Entrance a safe family friendly destination for visitors and local families alike.
“A strong police presence is a core component of Lakes Entrance being a family friendly environment, and has resulted in improved crowd behaviour at various events.
“Given the Minister repeatedly states that he recognises the importance of community safety, I have sought his personal guarantee that there will not only be a full roster of police at Lakes Entrance over the Christmas/New Year holiday period, but additional staff for this entire holiday period will be provided,” Mr Bull said.