Closure of Tasmania’s Betta Milk factory to mean loss of 21 jobs

Bega’s decision to close the Betta Milk factory in Burnie is a blow for dairy processing in North West Tasmania, said the union that represents the workers.

Bega, which acquired Betta Milk in December, announced they will close the Betta Milk factory in Burnie with the loss of 21 jobs.

Robert Flanagan from the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) said it was a big blow for dairy processing in North Western Tasmania.

“The union’s strong preference would have been for Bega to update their infrastructure rather than rationalising the factory out of existence in the way that it has,” said Mr Flanagan.

“The Betta Milk operation has had a  footprint in Burnie for 70 years and has been a part of the fabric of that community over those years so it’s devastating the factory will be closed.

“The workforce at Betta Milk has a very discrete skill set, and the union has held discussions today following the announcement with Saputo, who have a factory in Burnie, and Fonterra who have a factory in nearby Wynyard, to explore employment opportunities at their operations.

“Both companies have been supportive of seeing what they can do to place Betta Milk workers within their respective operations.

“The dairy sector is very discrete in what it does, these workers won’t need to be trained, they should readily adjust to the working environment of Suputo and Fonterra.

“The last thing we want to see is regional jobs lost altogether,” Mr Flanagan said.