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Joint media release with Victorian Premier the Hon John Brumby MP

Victorian clothing company Cotton On will be backed by the Gillard and Brumby governments to expand its Geelong operation, creating 300 new jobs over the next three years.

At Cotton On today, the Premier John Brumby was joined by Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry Richard Marles to announce $750,000 from the jointly funded Geelong Investment and Innovation Fund towards Cotton On’s planned expansion.

Mr Brumby said the grant would go towards capital works required to expand Cotton On’s global head office in north Geelong and relocate its distribution facilities to Lara.

“We are making the right investments to lock-in a prosperous future for Geelong families and today’s announcement is great news for this growing and thriving region,” Mr Brumby said.

“Cotton On is a great Victorian success story. It has expanded to 650 stores, including 170 in the past year alone, and now employs over 800 staff in Geelong. This grant will assist it to continue to grow and expand.

“Cotton On’s expansion will create 300 new jobs in administration and distribution and further boost the company’s presence in the Australian market and in the international market-place, particularly in Asia and the United States. 

“It is these sorts of investments that we want to see through our $631 million blueprint to drive economic growth in regional and rural Victoria by attracting jobs and population growth, major new investment and more opportunities for young people to keep them living and working locally.”

The Geelong Investment and Innovation Fund (GIIF) is a partnership between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments and Ford Australia and was launched in 2007.

The Commonwealth Government provided $15 million, the Victorian Government $6 million with $3 million provided by Ford Australia.

Mr Marles said the announcement was a fantastic example of governments and industry working together to create jobs and encourage innovative new projects.

“This cooperation will create 300 new jobs in Geelong's northern suburbs which is a tremendous result for our city,” Mr Marles said.

“GIIF was created to secure new investments and jobs for the region and has encouraged Geelong companies to become more innovative. Cotton On has shown a great commitment to Geelong and this grant will further increase their presence in the area.

“The Geelong Investment Fund is a great example of partnerships between government and the private sector. So far it has provided 19 companies with assistance totalling $16 million and creating 958 new jobs and leveraged $86 million in investment.”

Ford Australia president, Marin Burela, congratulated the recipients of the grants.

"As longstanding members of the Geelong community, Ford Australia is proud to be involved in the fund and wishes Cotton On every success,” Mr Burela said.

Media contacts: Pauline Braniff, Mr Marles Office, 0419 664 016
                         Jessica Harris, Mr Brumby's office, 0409 188 743