ONE of Australia’s largest meat processing companies will upgrade its smallstock facilities and expand operations at Bourke, with a $5 million grant from the NSW Government.
The Bourke abattoir, which is primarily for goats, started operations earlier this month after being mothballed for almost three years. The $60 million dollar facility was opened in 2019, but closed about four months after.
The company will match the grant with its own $5 million, with the funding to be used for upgrades to the cold storage facility, include new freezers, conveyor systems and storage.
TFI managing director Darren Thomas said the acquisition and enhancement of the Bourke facility fits within a broader program of investment activity across the company’s domestic primary processing facilities.
“This contribution from the Regional Job Creation Fund Round Two will further support this ongoing investment in the Australian red meat industry and the more than 3,000 people we employ around the world,” Mr Thomas said.
“We look forward to working with all stakeholders throughout NSW and the Far West community in scaling up the Bourke facility and creating long lasting economic benefit and jobs in the region.”
Deputy premier and minister for regional NSW Paul Toole said as one of Australia’s largest food manufacturing businesses, TFI was set to be a state leader in supporting regional jobs and economic growth.
“This $5 million investment will see TFI boost local operations and provide a more efficient model for local farmers, enabling them to process stock locally and cut freight costs,” Mr Toole said.
“This funding will also incentivise ongoing investment in Bourke and surrounding areas and give local producers processing options closer to the farm gate, keeping supply chains and jobs in our regions.
“The $140 million Regional Job Creation Fund aims to create more than 6,500 new jobs in regional NSW, allowing businesses like Thomas Foods International to increase production, expedite growth, and expand regional industries.”
Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the funding would be a welcome boost for the local workforce.
“These are meaningful jobs being created for locals and that means more opportunities to spend up at local businesses, creating a social and economic boost for the Bourke region,” Mr Saunders said.
“The benefits of this abattoir will be felt more broadly, with up to 3,000 animals a day to be processed at the site, servicing western NSW and Queensland.”
Under the Regional Job Creation Fund, eligible businesses can apply for grants to support the purchase of new equipment, expand facilities, create new tourism ventures or relocate businesses to regional NSW. Grant recipients will need to fund 50pc of the project themselves.
Source: NSW Government