Leeton SunRice plant has been promised a major financial boost from the Federal Government to help complete facility upgrades and boost onshore manufacturing.
The $5 million dollar commitment will add to SunRice's $19.9 million planned upgrades of the Leeton plant's Specialty Rice Foods facility, which will allow the company to increase domestic production of its microwaveable rice pouches and rice cups.
The upgraded facilities will see the introduction of new manufacturing technology for the microwaveable range as well as 28 new skilled jobs.
Farrer MP Sussan Ley made the announcement at day two of the Riverina Field Days, alongside NSW senator Perin Davey and SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur.
Mrs Ley said the $5 million grant showed commitment by the Morrison Government to onshore manufacturing, regional jobs and the MIA.
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"This is a game changer for us," Mrs Ley said. "We're not just exporting a bulk commodity, or even pre-packaged semi-bulk commodity, we're adding value to these microwaveable family packs. It's real innovation from SunRice.
Mrs Ley also said the 28 new jobs were vital for Leeton.
."These are real jobs in the real, rural economy of my electorate," she said. "This is value-adding, this is innovation, this is showcasing what Australian farmers do better than anyone else to the world."
Senator Perin Davey said the new facilities and technologies will allow SunRice to continue production despite the often unpredictable Australian climate.
"It's going to add bazillions to the rice industry and give them a product that can be made with smaller quantities of rice," Ms Davey said.
"This means the rice industry will be strong, viable and resilient through the boom and bust water cycle we have here in Australia."
SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur added he was looking forward to introducing more jobs at the Leeton plant as well as innovative new ways of producing the microwaveable range.
"It means we're increasing the value add on our rice," Mr Arthur said.
"We manufacture in rural Australia and we have a large share in the Australian market. That's what SunRice is about."
Mrs Ley said the upgrades would start immediately with a re-elected Morrison Government.
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