2 Oct 2012

Fonterra closing processing plant in Victoria

9:00 pm on 2 October 2012

Fonterra has announced it's closing one of its processing plants in Australia.

The long-established Cororooke factory in south-western Victoria is one of the largest employers in its district, the ABC reports.

Fonterra Ingredients Australia's managing director Simon Bromell says the plant will shut down within a year because it's more than 100 years old and needs major upgrades.

Instead, $25 million will be invested over the next three years to improve Fonterra's Cobden and Dennington plants in the same region.

Mr Bromell says it's too early to say how many of the Cororooke plant's 130 workers will be made redundant but there will be an option of transfer to other plants.

"We've got a significant period of time to the middle of next year to work through finalising dates for transitions," he says.

Tim Kennedy of the National Union of Workers says most of the workers are likely to find it hard to relocate to another town.

"The reality is it is not easy to sell up and move from these country regional towns and to find work somewhere else within the Fonterra group," he says.

Mr Kennedy says the town of Cororooke will struggle to survive without the Fonterra employees.