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Maryvale Mill Update

  • Due to the unplanned end of VicForests’ wood supply in 2022, Opal was forced to cease white paper manufacturing at the Maryvale Mill.
  • This challenging situation has resulted in more than 300 redundancies at the Mill and has triggered a lasting and substantial challenge to our paper manufacturing facility.
  • Ways of working that were acceptable many years ago and reflected in previous maintenance Enterprise Agreements are no longer appropriate and pose serious challenges to our Maryvale Mill, which is facing a highly competitive and international market.
  • The Maryvale Mill is now in an extremely challenging financial position.
  • To complete the Mill’s transformation to 100% brown paper packaging, we must urgently embed new ways of working with our team members and their representatives.
  • These ways of working require greater collaboration with our internal and external stakeholders, including our team members’ representatives.
  • Opal greatly appreciates the strong support we continue to receive from the CFMEU and all our production team members, which has enabled Opal to make a number of necessary production and footprint changes at the Maryvale site.
  • Opal is currently in Enterprise Agreement discussions with our Maryvale maintenance team members and the AMWU, ETU and UWU. The previous maintenance Enterprise Agreements expired in the second half of 2023.
  • We have made the financial challenges facing our operation clear and have pleaded with the AMWU, ETU and UWU to consider approaches other than a “rollover” against these challenges.
  • The AMWU has issued multiple industrial action notices (75 notices to-date) and led industrial action including snap walk outs, which is severely impacting our business.
  • As a result, Opal has made the decision under the Fair Work Act to undertake a legal lockout of our maintenance team members covered by the AMWU Agreement, indefinitely.
  • We are using external resources to ensure there is no impact to production.
  • Throughout discussions with the AMWU, Opal has provided a range of fair and reasonable offers as a proposed settlement position.
  • Opal is committed to securing the future of the Maryvale Mill.
  • The maintenance Enterprise Agreements in their current form poses serious impediments to the Maryvale site and a number of key features must be addressed.
  • We continue to negotiate in good faith and remain open to further discussion on all items in the log of claims.