The Morrison Government has committed $5 million towards new manufacturing capacity for the SunRice plant in Leeton, located in the heart of the Australia’s Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the funding will go towards a $19.9 million upgrade of the Australian manufacturer’s Specialty Rice Foods Facility.

“The project will enable SunRice to bring new manufacturing capability to Australia and increase onshore production of its popular microwave rice pouch range. This will allow the new technology to be expanded across to new microwave rice pouch products.

“SunRice, like many of Australia’s growers, is developing new production methods to combat variability in yields,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Importantly, this project delivers a high-value product using a relatively low volume of rice, helping insulate the company from any future seasonal impacts.”

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said SunRice is one of the world’s largest rice food companies, with international reach into approximately 50 markets and operations in nine countries around
the world.

“The project will adopt state-of-the-art equipment and develop new automated processes, and is expected to create 28 additional skilled jobs for the Leeton area.

“Demand for convenience and microwave rice products is increasing – this project will step up Australia’s onshore manufacturing capability, enabling that demand to be met with locally grown and produced products.

“SunRice’s operations in the MIA contribute close to $400 million to the local economy, through its rice processing mills, value-added production facilities and corporate offices, R&D and animal nutrient production facilities,” Ms Ley said.

Senator for NSW, Perin Davey said SunRice has been able to expand from a grower cooperative to an international food brand through innovation and value adding over more than 70 years; this funding allows that local capability to grow even further.

“By extending the manufacturing capabilities in Leeton we are creating jobs and building resilience back into the rice industry.

“Riverina rice is already paddock-to-plate for traditional rice and rice cakes – now it will also be paddock-to-microwave-to-plate.” Senator Davey said.

Only the Morrison-Joyce Government will continue to deliver a better future for Farrer as part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.