| August 10, 2017

Manufacturing in Murray

My home town is Shepparton in my electorate of Murray. It is home to some of the best manufacturers and processors in the country. I have had the privilege of visiting some of these places in the last few months. In my office here in Canberra I have a wonderful display of products made at Pental in Shepparton. They manufacture well-known household products such as White King bleaches, Country Life soaps, Huggies, fabric softeners and Jiffy firelighters, just to name a few. They have been operating in Shepparton for more than 60 years. They are a leader in innovation in personal household products. I would like to thank Paul and Carmine for showing me around the factory recently.

Just a few hundred metres down the road from Pental is one of the oldest engineering companies in the country—Furphys. Many people in this place may be familiar with the saying that you're telling a furphy. Quite a few of them do get told around here. I'm sure that many members have been accused of telling furphies in the past. The saying originated back in World War I, when soldiers would tell tales around the Furphy water wagon. The wagon was and still is made in Shepparton, but 150 years later they are manufacturing stainless steel tanks for the dairy industry, the food and beverage industry, the mining industry and the pharmaceutical industry. I am sure many Victorians have also tasted the Furphy beer, which is named after the foundry but manufactured in Geelong. I recently visited the Furphy site and spoke to managing director Adam Furphy, who is the fifth generation of the family to run this business. Adam showed me the latest expansion of the company sheds and the new technologies that they are adding to the capabilities of their business. The Furphy name has even made its way into the parliament—the end of the famous water cart is now on show in the press gallery.

In the same industrial precinct is Rubicon. Rubicon is a leading manufacturer and developer in water technology and management of gravity-fed irrigators. Rubicon designs, develops, manufactures and tests all of its own products. They're doing contracts in China, America, India, New Zealand, Spain, Chile and others. Certainly, they are the world leaders in water efficiency projects around the world.

In Murray, it's not just the large manufacturers who are making waves across this country. We also have one of the very few, and possibly the largest, camel dairy farms in Australia operating just outside of Kyabram. Chris and Megan, a young couple who have started up this enterprise there, purchase the camels from Central Australia and make a whole range of products—not just the milk. I was lucky enough to taste the milk, and, having grown up on a dairy farm, I think it's much more palatable than I remember the cow's milk being.

I am proud that Murray is the home of manufacturing to so many areas. It's an honour to represent these companies, and I encourage everyone to think local and think Australian made when it comes to purchasing home groceries or industrial products for your business. Nothing can replace the quality of Australian grown, Australian designed and Australian made.

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