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Last bottle of Coke runs off the line in Adelaide

Business

Coca-Cola has vowed to retain a strong presence in South Australia despite closing its bottling line in Adelaide, ending 66 years of local production.

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The line will produce its final bottle of Coke today.

But general manager Jarrad Mortimer says the company will still have about 150 employees in SA.

“After 66 years and around 10 billion bottles produced, it’s time for this plant to retire,” Mortimer said.

“But despite that, we’re here to stay in SA.

“We’re keeping a local team in sales, distribution, warehousing, cold drink equipment and IT, plus Statewide Recycling.”

Production began on Coca Cola’s Thebarton site in 1952 with the decision to close the plant coming in February last year.

Since then production has been progressively relocated to other plants in Western Australia and Queensland.

Mortimer said Coca-Cola Amatil had also worked closely with all employees over the two-year transition period to redeploy some and help others find new work.

“The wellbeing of our staff is our top priority and most of those who’ve left have achieved their goals in employment, study or retirement,” he said.

“We’ve had good support from the South Australian government through this process, including financial support through a co-payment to help staff transition to new jobs.”

The decision to close the Adelaide bottling line came after a national review that recommended boosting production in Queensland and Western Australia but winding it down in SA.

Coca-Cola Amatil said barriers to expanding the ageing Thebarton plant included its CBD location and layout, dated infrastructure and expensive logistics.

– AAP

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