NEW ABAT­TOIR ON THE CARDS

Pro­posed venue to ben­e­fit south­west

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Molly Han­cock Molly.Han­cock@west­ern­starnews.com

AN EX­CIT­ING new project is on the hori­zon for the Mara­noa and meat in­dus­try that will ben­e­fit the south­west re­gion.

Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil last week ap­proved plans to seek a pro­posal and quo­ta­tion to up­date its Mara­noa Meat Pro­cess­ing Fa­cil­ity pre-fea­si­bil­ity re­port.

Coun­cil­lor and port­fo­lio for eco­nomic devel­op­ment Cameron O’Neil said the up­dated re­port would re­flect changes to mar­ket con­di­tions and trends to out­line the ad­van­tages of sup­port­ing an ex­port ac­cred­ited

❝an­other This is way of boost­ing our econ­omy and stim­u­lat­ing good growth. — Coun­cil­lor Cameron O’Neil

abat­toir pro­posal.

“With this con­cept in the works for many years, we are now able to ap­proach devel­op­ers and in­vestors for the po­ten­tial project,” Cr O’Neil said.

“Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil is com­mit­ted to fa­cil­i­tat­ing and pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties into our com­mu­ni­ties and a new meat­works would di­ver­sify the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try base, cre­ate jobs and pro­vide broad reach­ing eco­nomic ben­e­fits to our com­mu­nity,” he said.

The last Roma meat­works was closed around 25 years ago, due to age and in­ef­fi­ciency, with the next clos­est meat­works si­t­u­ated in Charleville and goats and sheep be­ing it’s pri­mary busi­ness.

While the new pro­posal doesn’t have a pre­ferred lo­ca­tion yet, it will pro­vide 340 jobs if it gets off the ground.

In 2016, the Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter com­mis­sioned a study to de­ter­mine the best pro­posal most likely to be sus­tain­able and of­fer in­vest­ment propo­si­tion.

This study pro­moted the Mara­noa as a key prospect for in­vest­ing in an ex­port ac­cred­ited abat­toir.

“Ac­cord­ing to the State Gov­ern­ment re­port, the meat­works is es­ti­mated to have around 170,000 cat­tle pro­cessed through the meat­works each year,” Cr O’Neil said.

PHOTO: STU­ART QUINN

MEAT­WORKS: Plans un­der­way for a meat­works in the Mara­noa which is set to pro­vide more than 300 jobs.

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