Swickers growth to create 100 jobs
THE South Burnett will benefit from more than 100 new long-term jobs as Swickers Bacon Factory is set to expand in Kingaroy.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Kingaroy on Monday, touring the bacon factory and visiting the hospital as it undergoes redevelopment.
Ms Palaszczuk said there would be a $100million expansion of the factory and of SunPork Commercial Piggeries which would create up to 110 jobs and 100 construction jobs.
"Swickers is a wonderful example of a Queensland company capitalising on changing markets and growth opportunities," Ms Palaszczuk 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."
The State Government will invest up to $50million from the jobs and regional growth fund as financial assistance to Sunpork Commercial Piggeries to support the expansion of Tong Park Piggeries.
Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham said the expansion supported and stimulated long-term economic growth of Queensland's pork industry.
"These jobs will be a good boost for the local economy, which will spin off into indirect jobs, in transport, service and maintenance, sales and retail staff," he said.
SunPork chief executive officer Robert van Barneveld said the expansion would double the capacity of the plant, bring staff numbers up to 770 and create another kill floor to expand the plant's capacity.
"We've been on quite a journey for the last 12 months, we decided to build capacity for 2.3million kg of ham," he said. "If we want to expand our farming we need to expand as a plant.
"Ninety-five per cent of Queensland's pigs are processed through this plant."
Swickers is one of the South Burnett's largest employers and mayor Keith Campbell said the expansion would make it the largest employer.
Labor won't preference One Nation
While Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was in Kingaroy she said there would be no preference deal between Labor candidate for Nanango Ben Rankin and One Nation candidate Douglas Grant.
"We are putting One Nation last, right across Queensland," she said.
"We have to govern for all of Queensland, regardless of where you live in this state.
"We're not going to win Nanango, upfront, we are definitely not going to win the seat of Nanango, but I want to show Queenslanders that I am here for Queenslanders no matter where you live.
Ms Palaszczuk has yet to call an election, but said the sole reason for her visit was to see the investment the state government had put into the South Burnett.
"This is more jobs for this region."