The Swickers Kingaroy plant in South Burnett, owned by SunPork Group, saw a $64m investment, supported by the $175m Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, to create what is being billed as the “most advanced pork abattoir in Australia”.
SunPork Group CEO and managing director Dr Robert van Barneveld said: “Given the importance of this facility to the Australian pork industry, we decided to recognise the new processing floor commissioning with an open day for pork producers, wholesalers and our key retail customers. Many producers and wholesalers will rely on the efficiency and quality standards in our plant to maintain and develop their business well into the future.”
Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the expanded Kingaroy operations have almost doubled the number of jobs onsite, growing from 570 before expansion to now more than 800 jobs.
"In the wake of the devastating fire that ravaged the facility in late 2016, our government began working closely with Swickers,” he said. “We didn’t just want to return the facility to full capacity, we wanted to support their expansion for the future and create more jobs for the people of Kingaroy and the South Burnett.
“Swickers took the opportunity to not just rebuild the boning room but to invest in the transformation of the entire facility," added Dick. "And they've done so while incorporating state-of-the-art technology to improve efficiency.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner added the expansion project has more than doubled the processing capacity of Swickers Bacon Factory.
“As Queensland’s only export-accredited pork abattoir, the Swickers facility will stimulate long-term economic growth in the region and underpin the state’s pork industry for the next 30 years and beyond,” he said. “With more than 800 staff now working at the Kingaroy facility, Swickers continues to be a vital employer for this part of our state.”
The $175m Jobs and Regional Growth Fund is also expected to support SunPork’s next project, the development of its piggery at Tong Park, pending a final investment decision by the company.