Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck today honoured the incredible contribution to the State by Milan Vyhnalek, a pioneer of the cheese and dairy industries.

The Czechoslovakian migrant passed away in his home country on March 3, aged 87.

Mr Vyhnalek established Lactos Cheese Factory, starting production in 1955 and forging Burnie’s reputation as home to some of the finest cheeses in the world.

“This one man has had a profound impact on our region, ” Senator Colbeck said. “This would be a very different place if not for his vision, ingenuity and perseverance.

“His story is an inspiration. It serves as a reminder of the opportunities available to us in this region if we embrace our strengths and meet our challenges head on.”

Mr Vyhnalek initially tried to establish a factory in the early 1950s, but failed because of objections from butter factories in the region.

He established Lactos using the licence and milk of Betta Milk at Old Surry Road, Burnie.

The plant is now operated by Lion Drinks and Dairy and produces some of the nation’s most loved cheeses, including Tasmanian Heritage and Mersey Valley. The company is in the process of a $140
million expansion.
SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Senator for Tasmania Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science