Food giant closing NSW plant? National Foods could be set to close down its yoghurt production facility at Wetherill Park in NSW. Crikey‘s tipster says it’s being done under the project name ‘Rainbow’, headed up by Kevin Bull, and that many jobs will be lost in NSW, with only the Morwell yogurt facility to remain. Our tipster also reports that the company has spent close to $30 million in building a brand new line at Wetherill Park to make its Thick ‘n Creamy Yogurt.

Jeff Lynch, Director of Corporate Affairs at National Foods, gave Crikey the following statement: “National Foods is undertaking a review of its national fresh dairy operations, following acquisition of Dairy Foods in November 2008. Our people at Wetherill Park in NSW and Morwell in Victoria have been formally told that this review is under way. A decision on any impact this may have on manufacturing sites is expected to be made mid-this year.”

Did Origin buy a lemon? Origin Energy recently bought the Otway gas plant from Woodside for some $800 million. Woodside has banked the cheque, but Origin doesn’t take over full operations until July 1. Did Origin get far more than they paid for? Woodside paid a contractor to build the plant, but word is, while they commissioned a BMW, they got a Hyundai. The plant’s a lemon. Plagued by problems. Woodside staff have developed some fine skills in obfuscation when you try and find out how bad the problems are.

Paluzzano gone but not forgotten. Karyn Paluzzano may be gone, but her influence lives on in our local branches. Her husband Robert is still heavily involved in the local branches, including last night at Kingswood branch. Party members in Penrity want to know when will Labor head office and Premier Keneally finally take action to rid the party of this foul stench?

Telstra goes back to the future. I’ve just had a phone call from Telstra about updating my mobile phone plan. All very nice, and the new deal is actually better than the old. However, to switch to the new plan, I will have to be transferred from Telstra’s new billing system to their legacy (i.e. old) billing system. Apparently the new billing system can’t handle the new phone plans they are offering, but the legacy one can. Work that one out.

Newspaper free-for-all (cont) 1: All members of the University of Sydney union have been issued with free Sydney Morning Herald cards this year, allowing them a free copy of the SMH on campus every day, and a copy of each weekend paper sent home free of charge. At least 5000 of the cards would have been issued this year.

Newspaper free-for-all (cont) 2: A fruit shop at Fyshwick Markets at the weekend has piles of free copies of the Canberra Times for shoppers to help themselves. Not sure if it’s a Canberra Times deal or a fruit-veg shop spurt of generosity, but either way the punters get the paper for free.

Newspaper free-for-all (cont) 3: There’s always a huge stack at the entrance to Fitness First in Canberra City. I don’t bother buying the paper any more on gym days, I just pick one up at the gym, especially Saturdays. Thanks Fairfax!

Newspaper free-for-all (cont) 4: Don’t forget regional newspaper circulations! McDonald’s/Cairns Post have been advertising in Cairns for a couple of weeks that you get a copy of the Cairns Post when you buy breakfast at McDonald’s. Cairns is only a one-paper town but we have at least five McDonald’s!

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.