Thomas Foods buys Back O’Bourke Motel

Paul Leonard of Thomas Foods International inspecting TFI’s latest acquisition in Bourke. Photo Noel Fisher

Thomas Foods International (TFI) has announced the purchase of the Back O’Bourke Motel at North Bourke and the property will reach settlement at the end of the month.

Purchased for an undisclosed sum from Phillip and Anne-Marie Parnaby, the property will be repurposed to house abattoir workers coming into Bourke from other parts of Australia and overseas.

Livestock Manager for TFI, Paul Leonard, said that there is an expectation that the abattoir will be able to house 50 to 60 workers on the new site.

As the opening of the goat processing facility draws closer, excitement is growing within the local community and amongst TFI staff and management.

According to Mr Leonard, things are progressing more slowly at the facility than TFI would like as the company waits on external contractors to complete some of the necessary works.

However, company officials are confident that the abattoir will be operating by July this year, or maybe earlier.

“We are waiting on final approval from the engineers,” Mr Leonard said.

“There are some contractors that initially installed the skin-on chain, and they will be arriving from Germany this week to do some final rehabilitation work to get the chain up and going.

“And there should be some new signage appearing at the site this week.

“Even that is taking a little time to be fabricated and installed,” he said.

Last week the NSW Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Dugald Saunders visited the site to talk with TFI personnel and to inspect the facility.

“It was great for the minister to call in and have a look at what the facility is and understand the value it represents for the local community; we were very glad that he was able to visit,” Mr Leonard said.

A careers information night for the abattoir will be held at the Bourke Bowling Club this Friday - the Friday night before the show.

“That will be an opportunity for locals that are interested in a career with the company.

“Bill Adcock the Group Operations Manager, and Morna Young our Human Resources Manager will be coming to Bourke for the event to make sure all those that are interested have all their questions answered.

“That will be the best chance for all those that are interested to find out what jobs and careers are available, the pay and conditions and to ask any the questions.

“We haven’t started recruiting in earnest yet, but we have had some one-on-one conversations with a few key people.

“Recruiting will really start to ramp up after the career’s night.

“The reality is that you want to be within four to six weeks of starting up before you engage with people at that level.

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