McCurdy calls on Premier to save Cobram jobs

Friday 24 March 2017

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy yesterday called on the Premier to visit Cobram to discuss job stand downs at the JBS plant with the company and its workers.

Mr McCurdy told Parliament JBS was the world's largest processor of fresh pork and beef and that all 292 employees at the Cobram plant were being stood down for a month due to a shortage of suitable small livestock.

“I am aware that market conditions and the very high price of beef makes business very difficult on the export market, but my concerns are for the workers in our small community,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The Premier needs to establish if these stand downs are potentially long term, and if so, whether he will give assurances to the staff that he will assist in finding alternative employment if the stand downs continue past the scheduled mid-April time frame.

“Many of the staff have families and mortgages, and I ask that he gets a full briefing to better understand the way forward for both the company and the workers.”

Mr McCurdy said Cobram's local economy would be impacted if the stand downs continued and workers were laid-off permanently.

“I urge the Premier to have a plan in place to support our communities if this becomes a long-term scenario,” he said.

“I do urge him to come to Cobram and talk with JBS and the workers and to give them some assurances sooner rather than later.”

Mr McCurdy is awaiting a response from the Premier.

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