Jobs boost for area

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Up to 32 new jobs could be created in the Carisbrook area thanks to a $350,000 state government grant.

The Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund grant has enabled two local businesses — Mortlock Hydroponics and Centre State Asphalting — to expand their local operations and boost employment opportunities.

Visiting Mortlock Hydroponics’ $4.1 million Carisbrook expansion earlier this week, Member for Western Victoria, David O’Brien, said he hoped the funding would provide a major boost for the region in general.

“As well as creating 32 new jobs, these investments are expected to generate downstream employment and economic activity along the value chain in a number of different areas,” he said.

During his visit to the mammoth hydroponic tomato-growing operation, Mr O’Brien joined owner Ian Mortlock for a tour of the hothouse, including a bird’s-eye view look at the current cherry tomato crop thanks to one of the scissor lifts employed by the factory in order to de-leaf and harvest the bounty of tomatoes.

“Our support is being provided through the $10 million Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund, which was established to drive investment and jobs growth in the state’s flood-affected regional areas,” Mr O’Brien said.

“So far, the fund has provided $4.85 million to 24 flood-affected Victorian businesses who will invest $98 million, creating 415 new jobs.”

Mortlock Hydroponics’ expansion is expected to create around 20 ongoing jobs, while Centre State Asphalting’s Tullaroop Road plant will create 12 new positions.

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