Multinational confectionery giant Cadbury has withdrawn its application for $16 million in federal funding, saying it was unable to meet certain grant requirements.
The funding, which was promised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott during his 2013 election campaign, was to go towards a $66 million upgrade of Cadbury’s Hobart factory, with the company contributing the remaining $50 million.
According to ABC, the project for upgrading Cadbury’s Claremont facility in Hobart envisaged building a new visitor centre to allow the company to restart tours of the facility.
However, parent company Mondelez International, which runs the factory, said it had failed to reach certain grant criteria, including growing production volumes by 20%.
“It reached a point where it was clear that we could not satisfy the grant criteria and it’s for that reason that we’ve decided to withdraw our application. Specifically what we couldn’t satisfy was the requirement that we were able to sign up to significantly increasing volumes through our plant here in Claremont,” Mondelez spokeswoman Amanda Banfield said.
“That was dependent on us accessing some substantial new export volume orders. We don’t have those orders today and therefore it wasn’t possible for us to sign up to the grant criteria.”
Premier of Tasmania Will Goodman said he was disappointed that Cadbury withdrew its grant application.
“The decision by Cadbury not to proceed with their application for funding from the Commonwealth is extremely disappointing. However, the fact that the $16 million funding will remain available to Tasmania is positive,” Mr Goodman said in a media release.
“The Tasmanian Government will now work closely with the Commonwealth Government to ensure that this money is invested in productive infrastructure and job creating opportunities in the state.”
Tasmania’s opposition leader, Bryan Green, accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of making false promises for job creation.
“Tasmania has been let down badly by Tony Abbott. He’s let the opportunity to create a world class tourism opportunity slip through his fingers. The Liberals promised huge job creation would flow from the investment in Cadbury and it’s amounted to absolutely nothing,” Mr Green said.
Luke Martin from Tasmania’s Tourism Industry Council said the Government had deliberately set a high bar for Cadbury for political reasons.
“I’m sure if the Liberal Party had won the seat of Denison we wouldn’t be having today’s outcome,” he said.
Ms Banfield said the decision to withdraw the grant application would result in neither job loss nor job creation. She said Cadbury would proceed with plans to upgrade the factory, but will only put in $20 million in the project.