December 15, 2017
Western District MP James Purcell will lead a local push to create a Koroit community co-op that will purchase the town's Murray Goulburn trading store.
This move follows the announcement in October that Murray Goulburn had entered into a plan to sell its assets to Saputo, the owner of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, dissolving the largest dairy co-operative in Australia.
However, Mr Purcell said it was his understanding that Saputo was not interested in purchasing the trading store component of Murray Goulburn.
"I have been approached by a Koroit resident to help establish a community cooperative to purchase the trading store and keep jobs and services in Koroit," said Mr Purcell.
"This is a proactive move to support a community that has endured dozens of job losses through Murray Goulburn in recent times.
"Not only will this have the obvious economic and social benefits to the Koroit community, under the co-operative model profits would also be returned to the community."
Mr Purcell has already met with Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford about the proposal and is confident of securing funding for a feasibility study and purchase of the assets.
"We need to keep this alive, not just for the agriculture community, but for the Koroit community as a whole. It's vital we keep jobs in these small towns and continue supporting our local agricultural sector," he said.
Murray Goulburn has 25 stores and six fertiliser depots throughout the south-west region.