New job opportunities on the table for sacked abattoir staff

HUNDREDS of workers impacted by the closure of Churchill Abattoir will have their future work opportunities put on the table today.

A special meeting will be held to give workers information on re-training and re-employment and financial support services ahead of the closure on September 28.

TAFE Queensland, Queensland Department of Employment, Queensland Department of Education and Training, the tax office, Centrelink, Department of State Development- Regional Economic Development SEQ and Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be at Churchill Abattoir as part of the forum for retrenched workers.

About 750 direct jobs will be axed within the next six months.

In two separate shock announcements last month, Churchill Abattoir and Baiada, which operates the Steggles Wulkuraka facility, confirmed plans to close both facilities.

Churchill Abattoir will slaughter its last cattle on September 28 resulting in 500 jobs lost, while the Steggles Wulkuraka facility will close in January with another 250 jobs gone.

The decision will have an impact on more jobs further down the supply chain with at least 27 major south-east Queensland farming operations now under pressure to find new processors to offload the meat.

Ipswich workers were last month assured they won't slip through the cracks.

Federal MP Shayne Neumann said the impact would be devastating and likely felt throughout the community.

"We're talking about hundreds of workers and their families across the two plants," Mr Neumann said, in August following the shock announcements.

"The immediate impact is obviously that this is devastating for the workers but it's also the flow on effect that could follow which will impact us all.

"It's the loss of community if people move away to find work. It's the emotional and mental impact on families and children as mum or dad loses their job."

He said opportunities would be available to workers who want to re-skill and move into different industries while highly skilled workers, largely from the Churchill Abbattoir, who want to stay in the same line of work would be supported via Centrelink payments while they hunt for a new job.

He said anyone who needed help filling out or understanding Centrelink forms should contact his office.

"We will assist in anyway we can," Mr Neumann said.

Shine Lawyers has also made itself available to workers across both sites who may hold concerns about entitlements.



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