Deputy Premier, Minister for Small Business, Skills and Regional NSW John Barilaro, and the Member for Bathurst Paul Toole today toured Bathurst’s Simplot manufacturing plant after the company was able to save 75 jobs and create 48 more roles thanks to significant payroll tax support from the NSW Government.
Mr Barilaro said Simplot was facing the prospect of shutting down in 2013, when the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government stepped in to help the company keep its doors open and remain competitive in a tough sector.
“Bathurst was staring down the barrel of significant job losses,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It would have been a tragedy for one of the biggest employers in Bathurst, let alone the producer of the iconic Chicko Roll, loved by so many, to close down.
“The success story of Simplot today is very different to the situation they faced five years ago.
“It is a tribute to Simplot which, with the right support from the NSW Liberals and Nationals government, was able to continue to grow and invest in the Central West.
“This story is one that showcases how a good business and a good government can come together to generate a great result for a local community.
“Simplot has transformed itself from an aging manufacturing site into a globally competitive food processing giant, not only saving jobs at the plant but increasing them,” he said.
Bathurst has been at the centre of food processing in Australia since vegetable canning commenced in 1929, and is the home to household’s brands such as Birds Eye frozen vegetables and the iconic Chiko Roll.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said Simplot has been on an incredible five-year journey to make sure it has a strong future in Bathurst.
“It was initially expected that only about 75 jobs would be retained at Simplot in Bathurst but the company has managed to significantly exceed targets to maintain a total of 123 fulltime equivalent positions during 2016-17,” Mr Toole said.
“The company has invested over $12 million in capital expenditure at the plant since 2013 to make it more competitive and has met all the criteria along the way to be eligible for payroll tax rebates under the Central West Jobs Action Plan.
“This isn’t just great news for Simplot, its workers and the Central West economy, it’s fabulous news for all lovers of the iconic Chiko Roll which will continue to be made at Bathurst.”
Simplot will start the annual production of Chiko Roll in June.