Esperance abattoir reopens
The Esperance abattoir is officially open for business almost a year after it went into liquidation, with 70 residents employed so far.
The Central Agri Group-run facility resumed operations last week after receiving its export licence. It went into liquidation in May with multimillion-dollar debts owed to about 100 creditors from when it was under the ownership of Shark Lake Food Group.
Central Agri Group Esperance part-owner Peter Polovinka said an estimated 150 employees would be required once the abattoir was at full capacity.
“Most of the people we hired — about 50 of them — were those who used to work there and lost their jobs,” he said. “A lot of those people never got jobs after it was shut down and have been unemployed, so it’s good to have them back in the workforce.
“We’re processing beef only at the moment and will start processing sheep in the next month or two.”
Mr Polovinka said this was also good news for farmers, who would no longer have to shoulder high transport costs, and he hoped to receive the necessary support from Esperance’s farming community to ensure the new abattoir thrived.
At the time of its closure, the high price of livestock was cited as one of the factors that led to the business’ economic troubles.
Rami Koyu, who ran the Myrup abattoir with Esperance-based directors John Wildberger and John Reed, said the closure was down to a number of factors, including a struggle with “sky-high” livestock prices.
He said the appointment of a receiver to Carpenter Beef, owned by his Central Agri Group business, affected the credibility of his other businesses, including Shark Lake Food Group.