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Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Secure Colac jobs

It is pleasing to see that there are businesses in the Geelong region working hard to be at the forefront of innovation, and emerging to be leaders within their industry. The Australian Lamb Company (ALC), based in Colac, is one example.

With new production numbers, innovative new processes and cuttingedge systems, work is now available for local people from our region within a company that can offer ongoing, secure employment.

ALC has recently secured a contract with Coles, together with a multimillion-dollar expansion, which has safeguarded its future. It means more jobs and more opportunities for our region, which is a great story for southwest Victoria.

ALC is in the process of introducing "next generation" robotics to its meat processing chain, following a successful $516,000 grant application to the Federal Government's "Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program". ALC is among 13 successful Victorian firms to share in $16.2 million through this program.

ALC will also contribute $1.477 million to the technology upgrade, which will help automate operations at the Colac plant. The robotics will be part of the company's multimilliondollar expansion and improvements, which will secure about 600 jobs at Colac. This will see ALC continue to be the best lamb processor now and long into the future.

In more good news for our region, ALC will hire 60 new positions after a successful deal to supply Coles with lamb chops. The 10-year contract has just started, with a newly upgraded processing and production facility.

However, these lamb chops don't just appear. ALC employs a dedicated workforce in Sunshine and Colac that, through the requirements and direction from customers, processes and produces only the best quality lamb cuts. In order to do this, ALC's dedicated livestock team sources the best livestock from farmers of choice.

ALC has a workforce in excess of 500 who, using skills taught by dedicated supervisory staff and trainers, get up early each morning or work late each night to give their best and ensure quality standards are met. It's not just a job, it's a skill, it's a profession and it's a desire to be good at what they do.

It is also encouraging to see a local business like ALC work through the pressures of meeting the stringent export requirements of many countries.

ALC's persistence in this area has ensured it can export to over 60 countries worldwide. This means that lamb bred in our region can be tasted at the best restaurants all over the world.

It is even more encouraging to see the need to source enough employees to ensure ALC can meet the growing production demand.

As Geelong transforms, it is vital that more local businesses innovate and look for new ways to grow. While government support is very welcome, a contributory factor to the success or failure of our region lies in the actions of the business community.

Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong CEO. Twitter: @Comm4Geelong.

Information on ALC's recruitment can be found here:



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