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The North Bourke abattoir has officially opened!

Busy on the job at Thomas Foods International abattoir last week - Meat Inspector Brooklyn Trembath, Plant Manager Rhubin Reti and Maintenance Fitter Rodney Todkill. Photo TWH

Last Friday, Deputy Premier, Paul Toole, and Minister for Western NSW and Minister for Agriculture, Dugald Saunders attended the opening of Thomas Foods International’s Bourke Abattoir, where they announced that the abattoir would get $5 million from the NSW Government’s Regional Job Creation Fund.

“This $5 million investment will see Thomas Foods International 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.”

Minister for Western NSW and Minister for Agriculture, Dugald Saunders, said the funding would be a welcome boost for the local workforce.

Thomas Foods Group Operations Manager Bill Adcock (far left) explaining the operations of the North Bourke abattoir to Krystal Bock, Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman, Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Bourke Shire Council GM Leonie Brown, Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders and Thomas Foods CEO Tony Stewart. Photo TWH

“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.”

Before taking the politicians on a tour of the newly opened facility, Thomas Foods CEO, Anthony Stewart, reflected on the journey to get the abattoir up and running and announced TFI’s goals for the future.

“This facility was initially built in 2019 and operated for a brief period, and since then, has been sitting idle,” Mr Stewart said.

“We were presented with the opportunity late last year to come and have a look, and we figured out quickly that this was a good asset that had lots of potential, so we acquired it.

“Over the last ten months, we have had a team working on getting it ready for operation, and we are finally at that stage now.

“There are two stages to our operation – one goal is to build production; we are looking to get our numbers up to 3000 goats a day over the next three to six months, and the key to that is going to be building the workforce.

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