Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government in partnership with the Federal Government and Ford Australia today announced funding to assist a Reservoir-based manufacturer to expand its local operations and create new jobs.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the $283,000 Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF) grant would assist ice-cream maker, Everest Colonial Pty Ltd trading as Everest Foods, to undertake a $1.2 million upgrade, which would include the installation of modern production technology.

“The company will use the grant to expand its blast freezer capabilities to meet the increased demand on their Norgen Vaaz ice cream, and Everest Gelato ranges.

“The investment will create a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant which will enable the company to set new benchmarks within the market place.

“The MNIIF is about attracting new investments and businesses to this important manufacturing region and maintaining a strong and competitive manufacturing sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Victorian Manufacturing Minister David Hodgett said the project would lead to creation of five new jobs by June 2016 which was a great outcome for the company, the community and the Victorian economy.

 “The project, which will expand the blast freezer capacity by adding 90kW of refrigeration capacity, will boost annual throughput by 17 per cent.

“It will also see the installation of two new evaporators; a bigger blast freezer room; automated pallet handling in the blast freezer; a new power unit; and an additional ageing tank of 5000 litres,” he said.

“Everest Foods’ expansion plan demonstrates how the MNIIF program is delivering innovative and exciting projects for Melbourne’s North. MNIIF is providing real support for investment by local businesses that results in increased economic activity and new, sustainable jobs,” said Bob Graziano, President and CEO of Ford Australia.

“MNIIF projects will assist the Melbourne’s North region to diversify its economic base for the long term benefit of the local community.

”Ford Australia is proud to be associated with MNIIF because it’s an important element of Ford Australia’s transition plan to become a full-line vehicle importer while also providing support for all stakeholders affected by our business changes,” he said.

The MNIIF is a $24.5 million package developed by the Victorian Coalition Government in partnership with the Commonwealth Government and Ford Australia in response to Ford’s announcement that it will cease local production in 2016.

The 13 MNIIF grants that have been allocated so far are worth a total of $54.4 million and are leveraging $15.9 million in private sector investment. They are expected to create more than 570 new full time equivalent jobs.

Media contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office: 02 6277 7070              


Joint media release with the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, the Hon David Hodgett MP, and Ford Australia President and CEO, Mr Bob Graziano


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