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Paddock to plate processing as the Nats boost regional jobs

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One of Australia’s largest meat processing companies will upgrade its small-stock facilities and expand operations at Bourke, thanks to $5 million from the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Regional Job Creation Fund Round Two.

The upgrade to Thomas Foods International’s cold storage facility will include new freezers, conveyor systems and storage, creating 250 ongoing local jobs over the next three years.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said as one of Australia’s largest food manufacturing businesses, Thomas Foods International is set to be a state leader in supporting regional jobs and economic growth.

“This $5 million investment will see Thomas Foods International boost local operations and provide a more efficient model for local farmers, enabling them to process stock locally and cut freight costs,” Mr Toole said.

“This funding will also incentivize ongoing investment in Bourke and surrounding areas and give local producers processing options closer to the farm gate, keeping supply chains and jobs in our regions.

“The $140 million Regional Job Creation Fund aims to create more than 6,500 new jobs in regional NSW, allowing businesses like Thomas Foods International to increase production, expedite growth, and expand regional industries.”

Nationals Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the funding would be a welcome boost for the local workforce.

“These are meaningful jobs being created for locals and that means more opportunities to spend up at local businesses, creating a social and economic boost for the Bourke region,” Mr Saunders said.

“The benefits of this abattoir will be felt more broadly, with up to 3,000 animals a day to be processed at the site, servicing western NSW and Queensland.”

Thomas Foods International Managing Director Darren Thomas said the acquisition and enhancement of the Bourke facility fits within a broader program of investment activity across the company’s domestic primary processing facilities.

“This contribution from the Regional Job Creation Fund Round Two will further support this ongoing investment in the Australian red meat industry and the more than 3,000 people we employ around the world,” Mr Thomas said.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders throughout NSW and the Far West community in scaling up the Bourke facility and creating long lasting economic benefit and jobs in the region.”

Under the Regional Job Creation Fund, eligible businesses can apply for grants to support the purchase of new equipment, expand facilities, create new iconic tourist experiences and visitor attractions or relocate businesses to regional NSW, which will lead to the creation of new jobs.

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