50 new jobs at Tasmanian seafood processing plant

Up to 50 new manufacturing jobs will be on offer in Tasmania due to an $880,000 government grant which has seen the Petuna seafood processing plant upgraded.

The new jobs will be available due to the introduction of a second shift in February, designed to increase the yield and quality of the company’s products.

The East Davenport fishery operation receives the cash as part of the North West and Northern Tasmanian Innovation and Investment Fund (NWNTIIF) – a joint-initiative from the Australian and Tasmanian governments.

The NWNTIIF was jointly-developed by the governments in 2009 in response to factory closures in the region.

Various food processing companies have received assistance through the Fund, including Greenham Tasmania, which used its $1.1 million grant to upgrade its Smithton beef processing unit last year.

Federal Industry and Innovation Minister, Greg Combet, says 14 new jobs will be available at Petuna “in the short term and up to 48 jobs in the long term”.

“Petuna’s upgrade is one fantastic example of the sort of activity that the NWNTIIF has helped. The Fund has diversified and strengthened the region,” Tasmanian Deputy Premier Green said. 

Petuna has reportedly been operating for over 60 years and employs 160 people. The company farms a particular breed of ocean trout which is famous for being a mainstay on Sydney-based Tetsuya’s restaurant menu.

“It is an innovative Tasmanian company that through its commitment to research and development is both a major part of the local economy and at the forefront of the seafood industry,” said Green.

So far, the government’s NWNTIIF has given money to 36 projects, resulting in $34 million of investment in Tasmania’s North West.

“The joint initiative of the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments has helped create new, sustainable jobs in a resilient region which has faced significant challenges in the past,” Combet said. 

The Fund has reportedly created 360 jobs since its inception, with over 400 jobs expected to be created in the next few months. 

Combet said Petuna was worthy of receiving the $880,000 grant because of its focus on innovation and research and development, which has lead to successful delivery of value-add products for local and overseas customers.

[Image courtesy of SMH.com.au]

Leave a Reply