Plans for the “most advanced” meat processing facility in the country have been unveiled in South Australia, with about 2000 jobs to be created from the project.
Thomas Foods International on Thursday announced plans for the new abattoir in Murray Bridge worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Chief executive Darren Thomas said it would be the “best, most advanced multi-species processing facility in Australia, if not the world”.
The proposal was welcomed by both the state and federal Liberal governments, citing a massive boost for the regional economy.
“This will ultimately grow our meat exports in the future, which is a crucial pillar of our state’s food and agribusiness industry,” Premier Steven Marshall said.
Approximately 400 people will be employed during the initial stages of production, before peaking to an expected 2000 jobs.
The site is located just 8km from Thomas Foods International’s existing plant, which was destroyed by fire in January last year.
“The fire was a major disruption to the business and the lives of many of our people, not just in Murray Bridge but right across our operations,” Mr Thomas said.
He said the company aimed to rebuild the abattoir the day after the fire.
The federal government also supports the new development, with $7 million set aside in this year’s budget for road upgrades surrounding the abattoir.
No start date for construction has been set, but the company is eager to begin “as soon as possible”.
The new facility follows the proposed $60 million abattoir just outside Port Pirie in South Australia’s Mid North that has been lauded by pastoralists as a possible “game changer”.
The proposed multi-species plant, which was announced in April, is expected to create 215 full-time jobs, with another 150 secondary jobs.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months.