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Anthony Pratt Pledges to Invest $2 Billion in Visy Australia

Southbank, Victoria, Australia 23 August 2017 -- -- (From news reports) -- Visy Australia will create more than 5,000 manufacturing jobs under a bold 10-year expansion strategy worth more than $2 billion.

Executive chairman Anthony Pratt unveiled a blueprint for the company that will mirror a similar commitment he made in the United States in May.

It will include new or upgraded facilities in every Australian state including Victoria, where 40 percent of its workforce is based.

"We are doubling down,'' Mr Pratt said.

"The best social program is a job ... (and) our Australian workers are among the most productive in the world.

"We are one of the most environmentally-committed companies and much of the $2 billion will be spent on technologies that result in creation of those new 5000 high-paying manufacturing jobs, sustainability, energy security and supporting our customers and promoting Australian exports."

The investment will include spending on the company's manufacturing capabilities throughout Australia including clean energy, recycling infrastructure, paper mills, corrugated box plants and other forms of packaging.

Mr Pratt said another 13,000 permanent indirect jobs will be created, with another 14,000 construction positions also up for grabs.

The paper and recycling magnate earned praise from US President Donald Trump for locking in a similar deal for American workers earlier this year.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and American Ambassador Jim Carouso joined Mr Pratt for the announcement at the opening of a mill expansion at Tumut, in NSW.

"This $100m expansion is a down payment on a $2b pledge to invest in Australia and create jobs,'' Mr Pratt said.

The chairman said he was optimistic about the future of manufacturing even as major companies, particularly within the car industry, pulled the pin.

"At the end of the 10-year investment program, Visy's total investment in Australia will be $8 billion in today's terms and we will have created a total of almost 30,000 direct and indirect jobs," he said.

Mr Turnbull said the investment highlighted Visy's long term commitment to regional jobs and to advanced manufacturing in Australia.

"Through our commitment to affordable and reliable energy and lower business taxes, the government is providing certainty and confidence for companies like Visy to employ more Australians and to invest and grow locally,'' Mr Turnbull said.

He said lower electricity and gas prices were critical for Australian manufacturers such as Visy to remain competitive.

"That's why the government's so committed to delivering energy that's affordable and reliable for households and businesses,'' he said.

"I congratulate Visy on their pledge to invest an additional $2 billion in Australia and the thousands of local jobs this will create over the next decade.''

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Visy was a great Victorian company and a global success story.

"We welcome this significant investment and Visy's commitment to manufacturing jobs," Mr Andrews said.


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