MEATY TALKS: Dr Robert van Barneveld, The Honourable Cameron Dick and The Honourbable Mark Furner inside the new processing plant.
MEATY TALKS: Dr Robert van Barneveld, The Honourable Cameron Dick and The Honourbable Mark Furner inside the new processing plant. Laura Blackmore

$64M expansion brings more than 200 new jobs

SWICKERS is bringing home the bacon after the official opening of its $64 million processing facility today.

The state-of-the-art processing facility has significantly increased the number of pigs processed from 280 pigs per hour to 750 pigs per hour.

Employment has also boosted with an extra 230 staff being employed on top of the already 570.

Minister for State and Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick and Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner were welcomed by staff and visitors at the Swickers.

The Ministers were given a guided tour of the $64 million dollar new processing plant by Sunpork Pork CEO and Managing Director Dr Robert van Barneveld before the official opening commenced.

Minsiter Dick said in wake the of the devastating fire that ravaged the facility in 2016, their government began working closely with Swickers to rebuild.

"We didn't just want to return the facility to full capacity, we wanted to support their expansions for the future and create more jobs for the people of Kingaroy and the South Burnett," Minister Dick said.

"What we see here today is one of the largest abattoirs in the Southern Hemisphere, which is a fantastic outcome for the company and the community.

"Swickers took the opportunity to not just rebuild the boning room but to invest in the transformation of the entire facility, incorporating state-of-the-art technology to improve efficiency.

"With more than 800 staff now working at the Kingaroy facility, Swickers continues to be a vital employer for this part of our state."

 

Minister for State and Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning The Honourable Cameron Dick making a speech at the opening ceremony.
Minister for State and Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning The Honourable Cameron Dick making a speech at the opening ceremony. Laura Blackmore

Both of the Ministers talked about the importance of Swickers in the local community.

After four years of planning, Dr Barneveld was most looking forward to some stability in the coming months.

"We are all quite excited for some normalisation because we have had two years of disruption," Dr Barneveld said.

"I became the Group CEO six months before the fire at the plant.

"I've certainly learned a lot more about this facility than I even planned to."

"We appreciate the effort and the loyalty to community has give to us and it's a synergistic relationship that we want to maintain," he said.

Once the formalities concluded, staff and guests were invited to taste an assortment of food on the grazing tables and take part in guided tours around the new facility.

 

Dr Robert van Barneveld, The Honourable Cameron Dick and The Honourbable Mark Furner unveiling the golden plaque at the official opening.
Dr Robert van Barneveld, The Honourable Cameron Dick and The Honourbable Mark Furner unveiling the golden plaque at the official opening. Laura Blackmore