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$1.4M research project for Australian cheese industry

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Date 7 May 1980

Minister for Productivity

Media Release Number80/18


Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Kevin Newman

A $1,4m research project which will improve the productivity of Australian cheese manufacture, and help to increase it's present $75m export market was announced today by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Kevin Newman.

Mr Newman made the announcement during a keynote speech "Dairying -,Technology and Training" in Bumie, Tasmania, today (7 May) for the National Dairy Processing Industry Training Committee. '

Mr Newman said the Department of Productivity will co-ordinate the program, funded from the Australian Industrial Research and Development Incentives Scheme, assisted by the Australian Dairy Corporation and private industry.

Recent research findings of the University of New South Wales and the CSIRO will be used in the project, and the results made available to all Australian dairy product and dairy equipment makers. The project could be worth $40m in exports

of new cheese-making equipment and technology in the next . 10 years.

Mr Newman said highly subsidised European Community dairy exports, changing consumer demand, and newly-developed export markets nearer home, particularly Japan, had encouraged the Australian dairy industry to upgrade its manufacturing


Exports of Australian Cheddar cheese to Japan have been growing by 10 percent a year, doubling every seven years. The market for Australian cheese is also expanding rapidly in the Middle East, South East Asia and local markets as

it becomes an increasingly attractive protein food.

Mr Newman said other benefits stemming from the project included:

. An expected 19% productivity improvement in the industry over five years

Improved competitiveness of Australian cheese over imported cheeses

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. A potential for increased employment in rural areas

. A reduction in the cost and difficulty of controlling pollution by cheese factories.

The project will be completed in four years over three stages, resulting in advanced cheese-making technology and equipment.

The first will concentrate on completely automating the "vat" stage of production; the second will attempt to develop faster processing; the final stage will evolve techniques for recycling whey protein, and the technology for the commercial use of whey, currently being wasted.

Mr Newman said that, although the Australian dairy products industry was an important export earner, it lacked the technical resources to sustain and co-ordinate it. It was necessarily located in milk-producing areas, encouraging


He said the industry needed a joint Govemment/industry co­ operative effort to develop technology for the whole industry's eventual benefit as well as for the good of the Australian economy.

Further information from:

Roy Muir Minister's Office (062) 733233

Win Munday Department of Productivity (062) 482809