'Iconic' Gympie factory unveils $10 million tower
GYMPIE'S Nestle Factory has introduced a new $10 million upgrade in the form of a 35-metre tower, pointing to a bright future in local manufacturing as the region continues to expand.
The tower, designed to enhance product quality by capturing the aroma released after Nescafe Blend 43 coffee beans are roasted, brings total investments in the 59-year-old factory to a figure of $20 million in the last five years.
Among those attending the unveiling was federal MP for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien, Mayor Mick Curran and Division 3 Councillor Mal Gear.
Mr O'Brien said the latest investment was a "shot in the arm” for Gympie.
"Any company that's going to invest $10 million, or $20 million in a broader context, means they're here to stay and will continue to support the local community,” Mr O'Brien said.
"Nestle is an iconic company around Gympie ...they're an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the town.”
Mr O'Brien called Nestle a "champion of regional Australia” and said he hoped developments would improve employment in the Gympie region.
"Gympie's a growing town, we've done a lot of work improving transport and creating an environment for businesses to grow and thrive.
"We have got unemployment issues in Wide Bay, significant ones, but it's private enterprise like Nestle that are helping us as a government to remedy those issues.
"It will mean more jobs into the future, and that's exciting stuff.”
Cr Curran said the investment "gives other businesses confidence to invest in our community”.
"We all know with the works to the highway and our proximity to Brisbane and the port, Gympie is set to expand,” he said.
"It's companies like Nestle that are leading that expansion.”
Factory Manager Richard Jones said initial construction on the tower took just four days, utilising "new and innovative techniques”.
He said the tower wouldn't create any new jobs, but would "hopefully help ensure (current) jobs are safeguarded for the future”.