Hobart Cadbury factory to close its visitor centre

The Cadbury chocolate factory visitor centre in Hobart will close for good in December and, as a result, 11 employees will lose their jobs.

AAP reports that parent company Mondelez has reviewed the feasibility of the tourist operation and decided against continuing to run it. Instead, the facility will concentrate on its core manufacturing operations.

"We've said repeatedly that our focus is on investing in (the factory's) core manufacturing operation to make it more globally competitive and therefore sustainable," Mondelez spokesman Julian Polachek told Newscorp.

"With a focus on manufacturing we are unable to invest in the ongoing operation of the visitor centre."

Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education, pointed out that the sustainability of the Cadbury manufacturing operation is the most important thing to consider.

"There are about 550 employees at the Claremont factory and it's important that the manufacturing operations remain sustainable – Cadbury is making good progress in this area," Colbeck said in a statement.

Prior to the last Federal election, then-opposition leader Tony Abbott promised Cadbury $16 million to improve the visitor centre. This funding was to complement a further $50 million that Cadbury planned to spend on the upgrade.

John Short of the Australian Workers' Union told the ABC that the fact that the company had not yet received the funding may have influenced the decision to close the visitor centre.

"Funds that Tony Abbott promised was a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel for them," Short said.

"Where they could see they could actually make it into a better experience for people that were visiting.

"But obviously that has not been proceeded with and this is the outcome. But it is a very sad day for those workers."

Independent Member for Dennison Andrew Wilkie called the loss of jobs “a blow for the local community”.

“Today’s news should remind us of the Federal Government’s broken promise to invest $16m of economic stimulus in the Glenorchy community. The Liberal Party was happy to say before the last election whatever it thought would win votes,” he said in a statement.

“And the Labor Party is just as bad because it has no objection to the stimulus spending being pulled from Glenorchy. It is no excuse that Cadbury decided not to go ahead with a new visitor centre because the $16m could just as easily have been spent elsewhere in Glenorchy.”

Image: The Hobart Mercury