Mr RAY WILLIAMS (Castle Hill—Parliamentary Secretary) [4.29 p.m.]: In my role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier for Western Sydney I have a clear focus on the responsibility of this Government to ensure there are employment opportunities for the expected one million additional people who will move to this region by 2031. In my role I have had the opportunity to talk to many hundreds of businesses, both in my electorate and across Western Sydney, about how this Government can remove impediments that may restrict inward investment in Western Sydney, both domestically and internationally. We often hear comments regarding our diminishing manufacturing sector, yet nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is we are manufacturing more than ever in New South Wales, especially in Western Sydney. However, through the innovation of technology, such as robotics and computerised equipment, we have reduced our manual workforce, but at the same time we have upskilled employees, thus developing a smarter and more innovative workforce. It is therefore imperative that we make every endeavour to encourage investment in Western Sydney that continues this trend and provides opportunities for the next generation of young employees in greater Western Sydney.
There are clear benefits in providing high-technology jobs in Western Sydney while at the same time educating the next generation with the appropriate skills to fill those jobs. One business that has embraced these objectives is Green’s Food Holdings, in Glendenning, which I had the opportunity to visit recently. Green’s is a striking example of a manufacturing success story in Western Sydney. Green’s is a 100 per cent Australian-owned food manufacturer with its head office in Glendenning. It is Australia’s second-largest Australian-based biscuit manufacturer, making cake mixes, snacks and cereals. Green’s is a true Australian business success story. It provides a diversified portfolio of more than 10 food brands in eight grocery categories and produces in excess of 380 products.
The business also has a strong history of successful innovation and new product development, with expected sales for 2016 to be approximately $275 million. Illustrative of the company’s strong growth and astute investment, in 2015 Green’s won the Australian Growth Company Awards in the Agribusiness and Food category. I was incredibly pleased to hear that in mid-2016 Green’s will relocate its Victorian operation to Western Sydney—testament to this Government’s efforts in attracting business to Western Sydney. Importantly, this move to enlarge its existing base in Western Sydney, at a cost of $7 million, will boost jobs and production lines by 50 per cent, adding around 70 additional jobs to the existing 202 jobs currently on site—and adding six production lines to the existing 15 production lines. Additionally, Green’s is relocating its export department into its Sydney headquarters, while centralising its information technology and research and development departments—adding both directly and indirectly to jobs and growth in the Western Sydney region. Significantly, the company has spent $20 million in capital investment in New South Wales manufacturing since 2011 and $5 million on information technology. While there has been a considerable investment in new automotive technology at the plant, Green’s has retained its full workforce and will now increase employment by an additional 70 jobs with the relocation of its Victorian base.
This is an enormous win for New South Wales, and more importantly for Western Sydney. During my visit with chief executive officer and managing director Shane Noble and general manager Matthew Russell, I also had an opportunity to discuss Green’s moving its Victorian enterprise to Western Sydney. They stated Green’s is scaling up in Western Sydney because of the breadth and depth of suitably qualified employees in highly specialised technical areas including research and development, engineering, machine operations, commercial and project management and information technology—illustrative of the pool of skilled workers now readily available in Western Sydney and further testament to my initial statements for the need to continue to upskill future generations of young people in Western Sydney. Added to this, Western Sydney provides Green’s with access to key customers and markets, while being in close proximity to local agricultural supply inputs.
Lastly, Green’s stated that its move to New South Wales was because of the strength of the New South Wales economy and this Government’s policies, including our payroll tax incentives and infrastructure investment in Western Sydney, such as public transport and roads. From my time visiting Green’s operating facility, it was clear that the business has grown on the back of hard work and dedication by its staff, led in particular by Shane and Matthew. I sincerely thank Green’s Foods Holdings for its continued investment in Western Sydney and also for its generous hospitality and time to show me how the business operates. Green’s Foods Holdings is a business with great potential beginning a new chapter of future operations in Western Sydney, and I wish the company every success for the future. While I was there I was pleased to note that one of the products still being made is lolly gobble bliss bombs. They were one of my favourites when I went to school, and I am sure they were one of your favourites, Mr Deputy-Speaker. Lolly gobble bliss bombs are still available on grocery shelves today. I commend Green’s for the role the company plays in improving employment opportunities in Western Sydney.
Mr ANDREW GEE (Orange—Parliamentary Secretary) [4.34 p.m.]: I thank the member for Castle Hill for bringing to the attention of the House the achievements of Green’s Foods Holdings, in Glendenning. Clearly, the business is going from strength to strength. The company shows great enterprise and is a great employer of local people. I pass on the congratulations of the House to Green’s Foods Holdings and its team for being a wonderful Australian food manufacturer and for producing Australian icons such as the lolly gobble bliss bombs.