Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford to visit Kiewa next week in response to Murray Goulburn factory closure

Coming north: Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will visit works affected by Murray Goulburn's Kiewa dairy closure when she visits the region on Tuesday.
Coming north: Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will visit works affected by Murray Goulburn's Kiewa dairy closure when she visits the region on Tuesday.

VICTORIA’S Regional Development and Agriculture Minister says interest’s been shown in buying Murray Goulburn’s doomed dairies, but she “wouldn’t want people to get their hopes up”.

Jaala Pulford will next Tuesday visit the Kiewa and Rochester plants which Murray Goulburn will close.

“We will do whatever we’re able to do to provide support for people in what is an incredibly difficult time,” Ms Pulford said.

She said while it was early days there had been feelers from potential buyers of the sites that employ 135 at Kiewa and 105 at Rochester.

“There are some ideas about and some significant entities that might be interested in purchasing one or other of these plants,” Ms Pulford said.

“We need to properly look at those and see how serious they are.

“I wouldn’t want people to get their hopes up….but we’re exploring those.”

Ms Pulford hopes to soon meet Murray Goulburn boss Ari Mervis for a second time since the closures were announced and involve the National Union of Workers.

But she downplayed the prospect of Murray Goulburn reversing its action.

“We need to recognise the company has made a decision to shut the plant and that’s today’s reality,” Ms Pulford said.

Ms Pulford won’t be at a public meeting at Tangambalanga on Monday night to discuss the shutdown.

Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said she would read a message from federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash at the meeting.

“She’s offered to have a deputation in Canberra as soon as we can from the meeting and then she’s expressed some interest in coming to visit...later in the year,” Ms McGowan said.