By Bonny Burrows and Casey Neill
In a boost to local business, a thriving Pakenham plastics manufacturer has been awarded a $1.8 million State Government grant to expand and triple its workforce.
Melbourne Rotomould will recruit 95 new employees, with priority given to ex-auto workers, thanks to its own investment and funding from the Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) program.
It will also relocate “over the railway” from its current Bormar Drive site and increase its product range and productivity.
Producing water tanks and a wide range of industrial plastic products, the company’s goods are in high demand nationally and overseas.
Melbourne Rotomould director Tim Leed said the business was “very appreciative, very excited” about its future, with the final touches being put on plans for the new site.
“It will be a larger factory, with a lot more space for expansion and plenty of yard space,” he said.
“As you can see, we’ve got a lot of products and we need the space to store it all.”
The new facility would also help meet increased customer demand in “a large range of areas” including chemical storage, water tanks and contract mouldings.
“That’s quite a number of industries we’re looking at, and we are also hoping to expand this further in the future,” Mr Leed said.
But despite the endless opportunities, Mr Leed said the company was committed to staying local, employing local, and supporting locals.
With a passion for supporting Australian made and local industries wherever possible, including through its raw materials, tool making and company cars, the plastic manufacturer has lived what he’s preached since the beginning.
In an interview with Star News in 2015 Mr Leed there were consequences to not choosing Australian made.
Companies could spend $100,000 on something from Australia or perhaps buy a similar product from China for $80,000.
“But what’s the value to the economy?” he said.
“Everyone wants to have a good job that’s well paid and jobs for their kids.”
Visiting the Pakenham factory on 4 May to announce the funding, Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan said the grant would both enable the local business to grow, while providing out-of-work automotive workers with new employment.
“It’s fantastic to see Melbourne Rotomould recruiting highly-skilled auto workers for the next chapter of its business,” Mr Noonan said.
“This exciting expansion will see the company invest in a new facility, new equipment and of course create dozens of new jobs.”