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Regional partnerships funding for Clarke's Pies.



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Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

3 December 2004

REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS FUNDING FOR CLARKE’S PIES

Member for Wannon, the Hon David Hawker MP, announced in Mortlake today (3 December) a $220,000 Federal Government grant to Clarke’s Pies.

The funding from the Regional Partnerships Programme will go towards the cost of materials and labour for new refrigeration and freezer equipment at the Mortlake-based factory.

Total cost of Clarke’s Pies’ Stage 2 development exceeds $600,000 and the upgrade will allow the company to treble its pie production to 9000 pies per hour.

“Clarke’s Pies is a regional icon as well as a major employer and substantial contributor to the regional economy,” Mr Hawker explained.

“The project I am announcing today is the second stage of a two stage project and involves the transition of Clarke’s Pies production facility into frozen product in order to meet established and growing market demand throughout Australia.

“The Regional Partnerships funds of $200,000 will ensure this local company’s continued growth in the south west economy, including the ongoing employment of 110 staff.”

Clarke’s Pies Commenced business in Mortlake in 1949 as a small café by the current Directors’ grandparents, Fred and Nellie Clarke and their parents Alan and Jessie Clarke. Over the subsequent 55 years, the business has developed from this shop to a pie manufacturing enterprise, to a company

involved in the sale and distribution of pastry and cake products throughout Victoria and South-east South Australia.

Clarke’s Pies first commenced contract frozen manufacturing of pies & pastries in 2001. Product orders increased in 2003, however, its equipment struggled to cope with demand. This led to the company applying to the Federal Government for assistance through the though Regional Partnerships Programme (www.regionalpartnerships.gov.au).

Joining Mr Hawker at today’s announcement was Clarke’s Pies Managing Director, Morris Clarke.

“I would particularly like to thank the Greater Green Triangle Area Consultative committee for helping to bring this project to fruition," Mr Clarke said. “Our plant, which retains its export licence, will become one of Australia’s top manufacturing sites capable of producing three times the current quantities.

“The upgrade will ensure the viability of our business, continuing to supply employment to people within a 50km range of Mortlake in south west Victoria.

Mr Clarke is confident Clarke’s Pies will increase its staffing levels as production increases over the next five years and anticipates the company will achieve sales of $20 million by 2009. The combined cost of the stage 1 and 2 upgrades is $2.2 million.

Ends For further information contact: Megan Campbell - Ph 02 6277 4008 / 0408 564 232