Meat­works plan

Gra­zier sets sights on a new Glad­stone pro­cess­ing plant

Central and North Burnett Times - - WELCOME - Emily Smith

MONTO gra­zier Bruce Burn­hams’ first ever cat­tle drive was to Glad­stone meat works when he was five-years-old. But the farmer of 66 years has had lit­tle rea­son to visit the coastal town since the meat­works closed in 1962, although that could all be about to change as gra­zier Leo Neill-Bal­lan­tine sets his sights on meat pro­cess­ing in Glad­stone once again.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of signed free trade agree­ments, Mr Neill-Bal­lan­tine thinks a new Glad­stone meat­works is ex­actly what the re­gion

Leo Neil­lBal­lan­tine

needs to make the most of beef ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Cen­tral Queens­land has got more cat­tle than any other re­gion in Aus­tralia and Glad­stone has the sec­ond big­gest port in the coun­try. There’s a lot of po­ten­tial, although we have a lot of miles and home­work to do yet,” he said.

North Bur­nett beef pro­duc­ers send cat­tle to Teys meat­works at Biloela or Rock­hamp­ton, or JBS at Rock­hamp­ton or Din­more to be pro­cessed.

Monto’s Mr Burn­ham said hav­ing another pro­ces­sor in the game would only ben­e­fit lo­cal farm­ers.

“We only have two big meat­works com­pet­ing for (our cat­tle at the sales) right now,” he said.

“As soon as sup­ply catches up with de­mand the price will fall. Hav­ing another meat­works means de­mand will take longer to meet, so prices are bet­ter.

“It would cer­tainly be a great ad­van­tage to be able to process and ex­port meat from Glad­stone.”

Monto farmer James Sinclair agreed hav­ing another buyer at the cat­tle sales would be a great thing for this re­gion.

“It would def­i­nitely sta­bilise prices and could make prices more com­pet­i­tive,” he said.

There’s a lot of po­ten­tial.

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