Legislative Council, Thursday 9 November 2023
Ms FORREST question to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRIES and WATER, Ms PALMER
A follow-up question with regard to this matter: does the minister believe the iconic King Island cheese and dairy brand must remain owned by King Island and thus, Tasmania. If so, does she understand the status of this brand, who owns it now?
Mr President, should there be any call for the Government to step in here to assist with regards to the future of King Island Dairy, any such request would obviously have to be considered on its merits. We certainly note the interests of the King Island economy and community.
Through the member's electoral tour, I have had the opportunity to go to King Island Dairy and acquaint myself with its products, which are, as you know, world-class and part of the Tasmanian brand. We are ensuring our Government is in contact through the Department of State Growth and we are very aware of the importantance of this industry to King Island.
However, it is important to note that previous operational reviews by Saputo in other places - similar to what they are doing now on King Island - have resulted in benefits for Tasmania, with an earlier operational consolidation, resulting in a commitment to invest $20 million into its facility in Smithton to manufacture cream cheese. We are certainly involved and are across the situation through the Department of State Growth.