Opal is an innovative and solutions led paper and packaging group striving for excellence in everything we do. A member of NIPPON PAPER GROUP, Opal has operations in Australia and New Zealand, making us one of Australasia’s leading packaging companies.
At Opal we are focused on targeting a number of areas to secure our success in the future. These include partnering with our customers, delivering innovative solutions and leveraging research and technology.
At Opal our high quality, innovative products are used every day all over Australia and New Zealand. We are committed to a circular economy approach through recycling, and procuring wood fibre from responsibly managed sources.
Opal Australian Paper has been working to address the current shortfall in VicForests supply.
To be viable the alternative supplies must match a range of strict criteria including species, availability, volume, cost, logistics and long-term supply.
To date we have been unable to identify viable alternative sources of wood and as a result, white paper production on the M5 machine at Maryvale was impacted from 23 December.
This has led to 35 direct production M5 team members being stood down on a temporary basis from 1 January.
14 De-Inking Plant production team members will also be stood down on a temporary basis from 17 January.
No decisions around further stand downs have been made at this stage.
Opal has been engaging in active discussions with the Victorian Government and union representatives about this situation. We have reached an agreement with the Victorian Government ensuring that until mid-February Opal team members who may be stood down will receive full pay.
This is intended to provide certainty for Opal team members while the company and the Victorian Government progress discussions on any further support for the Mill’s future operations.
In addition to Opal’s own Employee Assistance Program and other support services, a new Worker Support Service has been established by the Victorian Government to support Opal Australian Paper team members affected by potential stand downs and operational changes as may be required as a consequence of a possible future scaling down of white side manufacturing, one scenario currently being considered.
Opal continues to consider a number of different operational scenarios for the longer term, in case possible alternative wood sources are below the volumes required or are not commercially feasible.
This is a complex situation and no longer-term decisions on operational changes have been made at this stage.
While the current situation is difficult for everyone, Opal remains committed to keeping our team members, customers and key stakeholders updated on further developments. We are continuing to work diligently with a view to providing clarity for our team members as soon as practicable.