Bacon jobs on the plate for unemployed Ipswich workers
RETRENCHED Ipswich workers could be looking to Kingaroy to bring home the bacon when Churchill Abattoir and Steggles stop operations.
The fire-ravaged Swickers Bacon Factory at Kingaroy and another facility near Chinchilla are launching into a $100 million-plus expansion and jobs drive after the facility was destroyed in November.
More than 200 jobs are expected to come from the works.
Up to 900 people will lose their jobs when Churchill Abattoir does its last slaughter on September 28 and Steggles at Wulkuraka closes in January.
Ipswich businesses welcomed more than 120 Swickers boners to roles in the city to make sure they could still make an income for Christmas last year and now there is the potential for Kingaroy to return the favour. Swickers general manager of operations Linchon Hawks said impacted Ipswich workers were invited to apply for existing general process roles at the Kingaroy facility.
He said while specific relocation incentives were not available, individual needs would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
"We judge each case on their own merits," he said. Mr Hawks said negotiations were already in place to find out what the business could do to help jobless Ipswich workers into new roles.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the expansion of the factory and the SunPork Commercial Piggeries would create up to 110 new long-term jobs and up to 100 construction jobs.
"Swickers is a wonderful example of a Queensland company capitalising on changing markets and growth opportunities," she said. "We have worked with Swickers since the devastating fire late last year to not only recover but to expand and create more jobs in the South Burnett region.
"Pending a final investment decision by Swickers, the significant assistance will support a $52 million expansion that will more than double processing capabilities."
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the development would put Swickers at the forefront of technology and innovation and had the potential to create further job expansion.