South Australian confectionery company Robern Menz will construct a new $5 million ‘state-of-the-art’ production line to fast track the resurrection of the Polly Waffle in Australia, thanks to help from the taxpayer purse.
The Morrison government has tipped $1 million into the revival of the once-popular chocolate bar through its $215 million Modernising Manufacturing Fund (MMF), enabling Robern Menz to bring forward its promise to return Polly Waffle to Australian supermarket shelves.
First released in 1947, Polly Waffle has a cult following among some Australians old enough to remember its hey-day. It was produced in Melbourne until the 1980s, before multinational Nestle bought and subsequently discontinued the bar by 2009.
Robern Menz is expected to hire 38 new workers in the expansion, which is taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting large swathes of the labour market.
First announced last year, the manufactuing fund has today announced $48.3 million in handouts, with 59 companies approved for large projects worth $177 million, and 141 small-scale projects approved, worth $38 million.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the federal government investment has come to fruition at a good time.
“The Federal Government is committed to helping Australian manufacturers prepare for the future and to employ more Australians. More than 2,600 new jobs are expected to be created by these successful projects,” Andrews said in a statement circulated Thursday.
“We established the MMF before the coronavirus pandemic to help small and medium sized manufacturers invest in capital equipment and new technologies to transform and upgrade their manufacturing operations,” Andrews said.
“Now as we face the coronavirus pandemic and look to come out the other side stronger, this investment will be more critical than ever.”