Meatworks suffers from floods

CATTLE supplies to Swift Australia's Ipswich-based meatworks have been badly affected by the state's flooding crisis.

Shifts are due to start at the Dinmore facility today but company director John Berry said many road and train supply lines have been cut by flooding.

The meatworks – the largest of its kind in Australia – sources its cattle from around Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Mr Berry said the movement of the cattle was currently difficult and “near impossible”, with the company working hard to secure whatever cattle they could.

“We have a situation where the producers have a lot of water on their properties, and their first priority is assessing damage and then seeing how they will muster cattle to transport,” Mr Berry said.

“We're working very hard to get cattle, but it is in the hands of the weather conditions at the moment.

“Continued rain is forecast and that is complicating issues further.”

A number of roads around central Queensland are expected to stay closed for some time due to the flooding and related damage once the water subsides.

Mr Berry said about 80 per cent of their stock came to their facility via the road, with the rest arriving by train.

He said the company would work hard to ensure its employees were kept up to date on the cattle supply situation.

The Dinmore site can process up to 3400 head of cattle a day but Mr Berry said he is unsure how many it will process in the coming weeks.

The company also has another facility in Rockhampton, which has been severely affected by the floods that have ravaged the region in recent days.

Despite the problems the deluges have caused, Mr Berry said there could be an upside.

“The amount of rain has set up us up for a good 2011-12. There's a good chance of a strong supply then,” he said.

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