LOCAL MEMBER CALLS ON STATE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST CASINO MEAT COMPANY

Assistance for Casino Meat Company 21 October 1999

LOCAL MEMBER CALLS ON STATE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST CASINO MEAT COMPANY

21 October 1999

The Member for Lismore, Thomas George, today in State Parliament called on the Carr Government to extend to the Northern Co-Operative Meat Company Limited at Casino the same level of assistance it approved to the Grafton Abattoir in order to head off further retrenchments at the plant.

During Question Time in State Parliament today, Mr George asked the Minister for Local Government, Regional Development and Rural Affairs, Harry Woods, to act immediately to minimise economic damage to Casino and the many families dependent on the meatworks.

Mr George said the Minister refused to commit the Government to a process of assistance to the meatworks similar to that the Government had provided to the Grafton Abattoir.

"The fact is, the assistance provided to Grafton Abattoir directly impacted on the ability of the Northern Co-operative Meat Company Limited at Casino to operate as profitably as it had before Grafton was given an advantage by the Government, Mr George said.

"The government assistance created an uneven and unfair playing field for the Casino operation, which found itself sandwiched between a supported Grafton processing works on one side and the adjacent Queensland operations on the other.

"The Queensland works operate under the benefit of much lower payroll tax rates and workers compensation premiums compared with those of NSW. This adds to the disadvantage experienced by the Casino meatworks.

"Minister Woods today indicated he had no intention of doing nothing other than having his department to talk to Casino management.

"What the State Government should be doing right now is snapping into action with an economic plan which will shore up the Casino meatworks, as they did for Grafton, and securing jobs for the hundreds of employees in Casino who depend on the meatworks for their living.

"A viable Casino operation will return dividends to the State Government. A high level of unemployment will create serious economic and social problems for the Government and for the region," Mr. George said.

Mr George said he would be making further representation to the Premier, Bob Carr, in order to focus the Government's attention on the Casino problem.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577