Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Government assists vegetable producer to expand (with pic.)

    5/10/2000 12:00 AM

    The decision by Manjimup Syndicate Coolstores Ltd to expand its operations to the former Simplot site has been a significant achievement for Manjimup, according to Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan.

    “Within the next three years, as many as 150 full-time jobs are expected to be created as a result of this decision, and this is on top of more than 40 additional jobs already created by the company since 1997,” Mr Cowan said.

    “Manjimup Syndicate Coolstores (trading as MAES) is a company on the move and its success is a positive factor to which everyone in Manjimup can relate.

    “The company has achieved phenomenal growth in recent years. It is already Western Australia’s second largest exporter of fruit and vegetables and the increased capacity associated with the new production plant means it is well positioned for further growth.”

    In Manjimup today for the official opening of the new plant, Mr Cowan said the State Government had assisted the company, through the Industry Incentive Scheme, to proceed with its expansion program.

    “The State Government contributed $1 million towards the cost of the purchase price for the Simplot site through a conditional loan that will convert to a grant when specific performance criteria are met,” the Minister said.

    “The aim of the Industry Incentive Scheme is to foster economic development in WA by facilitating major capital investment in new products or services of strategic importance to the State.

    “There is no doubt, particularly in light of some difficult times experienced in Manjimup due to the Bunnings and Simplot job losses, that this investment in Manjimup by MAES and by the Government is crucial.

    “MAES is one of the fastest growing companies in regional Australia and a flagship for export innovation and achievement. Its continued success is strategically important not just for Manjimup employment, but for the whole State.

    “While this has been a large commitment by the Government, it is an investment which will reap rewards for people ranging from local job-seekers to growers and the numerous small businesses within the MAES supply chain.”

    Media contacts:
    Peter Jackson (Minister’s office) 9222 9595
    Don Geare (MAES) 9771 1344

    Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan (right) inspects the carrot line at the new MAES plant with company chairman Ted Thompson (left) and general manager Don Geare.