WHEN it comes to state and federal government grants, there is no level playing field according to Cowra mayor Bill West.
Orange City Council is lobbying both tiers of politics to provide financial stimulus to the city after the announcement the Electrolux factory will close in 2016.
But Cowra received no such funding when the last Australian-owned cannery Windsor Farm Foods was placed into voluntary administration in March and left about 70 workers without jobs.
However, when Ford closed its doors in Geelong, the federal government handed out $15 million and the state government handed out $4.5 million.
Geelong will lose 1200 jobs by 2016 in a population of 215,000 people.
When the BlueScope Steel blast furnace closed in the Illawarra taking with it 800 jobs, the federal government gave $20 million and the state government gave $5 million for a population of about 275,000.
“I think it is very disappointing,” Cr West said.
“We were led to believe there was no money available... no real finances.”
Since the closure, the cannery has been bought but Cr West said the town had still not felt the full flow-on impact of its closure.
He said suppliers had been struggling.
“Cowra was the first to go but then there is what happened in Young last week, Simplot in Bathurst and now Electrolux ... to me it highlights the need for the federal and state governments to have a real genuine look at decentralisation and regional development and growth.”
Cowra’s population is 12,147 and the cannery accounted for the employment of 0.65 per cent of the town’s population.