Southern Downs abattoir infrastructure upgrade creates 16 new jobs

A Southern Downs abattoir facility will repurpose cattle hides and create up to 16 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Carey Brothers abattoir was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.

“Carey Brothers is a family owned business that’s been operating for over 75 years,” Mr Furner said.

“Currently cattle hides are sold to the overseas leather market largely in Asia, however market demand has severely diminished due to the cheaper synthetic leather products.

“This funding will allow the business to upgrade their abattoir infrastructure by purchasing a specially designed large batch cooker.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome.”

The pressurised by-product batch cooker will allow Carey Brothers to repurpose the oversupply of cattle hides into meat meal protein for pigs and poultry and tallow.

The installation of the pressurised batch cooker and throughput increases will create up to 16 full time employment opportunities directly and indirectly in the Southern Downs region.

Company director Mark Carey said they received nothing for their hides and had to pay to have the hides freighted to Brisbane, so the new cooker would be more cost efficient for the abattoir.

“The demand for cattle hides has changed drastically in the past three years and the purchase of a larger batch cooker will allow us to efficiently cook the hides to produce these by-products,” he said.

The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.

A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.

Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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