Blair An­gus’ on-farm beef pro­cess­ing plant could be the first CQ project to win a Nth Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity loan.

The Morning Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - MICHELLE GATELY michelle.gately@cap­news.com.au

A $30-MIL­LION cat­tle pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity could be the first Cen­tral Queens­land project funded by the North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity.

Sig­na­ture Beef, a com­pany owned by Beef Aus­tralia chair Blair An­gus, is in early dis­cus­sions with NAIF about a loan to­wards con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of a “green­field on­farm beef pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity near Cler­mont” called Sig­na­ture On­farm.

NAIF act­ing chair Khory McCormick con­firmed the project re­cently moved into the “due dili­gence” stage, where NAIF will fur­ther as­sess the project and en­sure that it could meet the in­vest­ment man­date.

Last month, the in­vest­ment man­date was changed to in­crease the pro­por­tion of a project that NAIF can fi­nance and ex­pand the types of in­fra­struc­ture that will be el­i­gi­ble for fi­nance.

The changes came af­ter heavy crit­i­cism about the lack of fund­ing in the two years since NAIF was formed.

This week, NAIF funded their first North­ern Ter­ri­tory project, a loan for Humpty Doo Bar­ra­mundi Pty Ltd.

Sig­na­ture On­farm is one of five Queens­land pro­pos­als in the due dili­gence and ex­e­cu­tion phase, and is the first where any de­tails of the project have been re­leased.

Mr McCormick said the planned pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity would in­clude ex­port ac­cred­ited slaugh­ter and bon­ing fa­cil­i­ties, fit out, equip­ment in­stal­la­tion, ren­der­ing plant


and ef­flu­ent treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties.

“It will be utilised to pro­duce high qual­ity, value added beef prod­ucts com­plet­ing the in­te­grated sup­ply chain for Sig­na­ture Beef, cur­rently ex­port­ing to 30 coun­tries,” he said.

“This pro­cess­ing plant will also pro­vide im­proved ac­cess to pro­cess­ing for all beef pro­duc­ers in the Bowen Basin with both di­rect sup­ply and ser­vice pro­cess­ing op­tion.

“This project rep­re­sents an im­por­tant piece of multi-user sup­ply chain in­fra­struc­ture for the north­ern beef in­dus­try and will en­able spe­cialised pack­ag­ing, a cru­cial el­e­ment for a pre­mium beef prod­uct.

“The project will also fa­cil­i­tate the trans­port and sale of the prod­uct both do­mes­ti­cally and overseas.”

The fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to cost $30 mil­lion.

“NAIF is cur­rently work­ing with Sig­na­ture On­farm to progress this project fur­ther with a view to mak­ing an in­vest­ment de­ci­sion,” Mr McCormick said.


Photo: Sharon Small­wood

BEEF PLANS: Isaac Mayor Anne Baker, Min­is­ter Dr An­thony Lyn­ham, ALP can­di­date for Bur­dekin Mike Brunker, and Josie and Blair An­gus. Mr An­gus is in early dis­cus­sions with NAIF about fund­ing for the beef pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity.

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