Flood funding rescues Norco

Norco CEO Michael Hampson. Photo by Elise Derwin

Norco Lismore ice-cream factory has received a financial support package from the Federal Government that will help the factory keep 170 staff employed for another 10 weeks.

The news was delivered to staff on July 14, the day before they were due to be stood down as the business battled to deal with the aftermath of unprecedented flooding in February.

The interim package will cover salaries and wages for the 170 ice-cream factory employees for about 10 weeks, while Norco waits for details and funding from the Anchor Business Support Package.

The announcement followed lobbying by the cooperative and other major Lismore businesses who called on the state and federal governments to increase the Anchor Business Support Package from $65 million to at least $100 million.

Norco CEO Michael Hampson said it was exceptionally rewarding to be able to share the good news with staff.

“Norco, our farmers and especially our ice-cream factory workforce are incredibly grateful for the Federal Government’s ongoing support, and we remain committed to working in partnership with both levels of government to help safeguard these jobs and ensure the future economic prosperity of the Northern Rivers region,” he said.

“This significant development fills us with immense optimism that our pleas for greater support for Lismore businesses — both small and large — and indeed the broader community, have been heard.

“And we do hope this represents the first step in delivering greater funding outcomes for the region in order to drive a business-led recovery.

“We’ve been part of the Lismore community for more than 127 years and we remain committed to seeing the community thriving once again, which is why we’ll keep fighting hard — for our people, our farmers, the businesses that rely on us, as well as the broader community.”