Victorian Premier Denis Napthine says he believes SPC Ardmona has a strong future in Victoria, despite the federal government's decision to reject a bid for a $25 million assistance package.
Source
AAP
31 Jan 2014 - 9:49 AM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2014 - 7:14 PM

"I as Premier will leave no stone unturned, no meeting unattended no option unlooked at, to look after the future of this region their jobs and an important industry for Victoria and Australia," he said.

SPC Ardmona employs 700 people at the Shepparton cannery but the jobs of up to 5000 people in the Goulburn Valley are at stake if the company folds.

The companies say the federal government's decision means that the $25 million grant from Victoria, which was conditional on a positive federal response, will not be forthcoming.

Dr Napthine said his government had supported strategic co-investment with the owners of SPC Ardmona but the federal decision meant the state had to re-examine its position.

"Nobody from SPC Ardmona or Coca-Cola Amatil has asked the state government for $50 million."

Asked if Victoria would still put in its $25 million, Dr Napthine said the proposal was for a joint state and federal contribution.

Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says Dr Napthine should have offered the $25 million to SPC Ardmona to reshape the business.

"The least Denis Napthine should have done is turned up with $25 million that was apparently on offer a day ago," Mr Andrews said in Shepparton.

He said the premier had turned up in Shepparton with no answers and no money and had turned his back on the community.

Mr Andrews said he hoped the company could survive, but Coca-Cola Amatil's decision in 18 days after reviewing SPC was pivotal to its future.

The state Nationals MP for Shepparton Jeanette Powell says the Victorian government will do whatever it can to keep SPC Ardmona operating.

"What we will do is continue to work with SPC to see how we can assist them in staying in Shepparton and what they need from the Victorian government," Ms Powell told reporters in Shepparton.

The Victorian government has offered $4.4 million in assistance for SPC Ardmona and the company has already used $200,000 of that assistance, Dr Napthine said.

A further $2 million was contributed last year by the state government to help people affected by a downturn in the industry and $5 million for a taskforce in the Goulburn Valley to grow opportunities in the region.