Nestle Tongala is set to cease operations in its factory, causing all 106 roles to be made redundant.
The small factory that has primarily been in tinned milk manufacturing, has announced is will be closing down its business within the next 18 months.
Within the factory, all 106 roles will be made redundant with many employees losing their positions after being with the company for more than 10 years.
Craig Connolly, employer of Nestle since 2008, expected to continue this job until retirement.
“It’s hard to imagine myself not working there, even harder to work out what to do next,” Connolly said.
“I haven’t had to prepare for a job interview for a long time, so I think half the battle will be getting those interview-type skills back up to scratch.”
Connolly lives on the outskirts of Tongala with his wife, daughter and autistic son. Providing for them was his main concern.
“I just don’t want my family to feel the brunt of this as well so I’m going to try and find another job as soon as possible,” he said.
Factory general manager Andrew Mclver said the company had hoped introducing other products such as Maggi culinary ranges and Milo Ready to Drink would allow the factory to continue operating for a longer period of time.
“Whilst the added ranges helped in the beginning, the milk products are the bulk of what the factory makes and unfortunately people just don’t buy tinned milk like they used to,” he said.
For the small town of Tongala, the factory was a major source of employment for community members. Many individuals were disappointed with how things turned out, including Campaspe Shire Mayor Adrian Weston who noted that: “The Tongala factory has been a major employer in our shire for many years.”
Whilst the factory still has a 12-18 month closing period, the company is creating redundancy packages and helping eligible employees find their next careers through workshops.
“I want our main focus now to be helping all of our employees with their next steps. They have all worked so hard and deserve to be somewhere appropriate to their skill levels,” McIver said.
“I don’t want the workers to think that their work ethic wasn’t adequate enough because they have really done the factory proud for all these years.”
After the closure, the site will be vacated and sold with the equipment being distributed accordingly as well.