Ai Group welcomes Mars factory upgrade

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed the Victorian government’s support for a $52 million upgrade to the Mars Chocolate Australia factory in Ballarat.

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed the Victorian government’s support for a $52 million upgrade to the Mars Chocolate Australia factory in Ballarat.

The Courier reports that line upgrades will double the factory’s output of Malteser confectionery.

The Victorian director of the Ai Group, Tim Piper, praised the state government’s support for local manufacturing.

“Mars has been very important in the Australian confectionery landscape and is a major employer in Ballarat,” Piper said in a statement.

“The state government’s support for the new plant is positive recognition for Mars manufacturing in the State and for employment in Ballarat, and is helping to deliver on the government’s promise to support manufacturing."

The factory’s general manager Michael Ryan said that the upgrade will provide job security for workers and also highlighted the benefits for the community.

“(Employees) feel really good about the business and this announcement give them a lot of confidence,” he told The Courier.

“What we’re focusing on there is the investment we’re putting into the local community, which is nearly $150 million in wages, payments to contractors and suppliers.”