Feedlot ready to reopen

A TABBITA feedlot that axed 60 workers when it shut down less than two years ago is preparing to reopen its gates.

JBS Australia is refilling its Prime City feedlot to begin trading by the end of the month following an improvement in international markets.

JBS director John Berry said the company would attempt to recruit as many of the workers who were sacked in 2012 as possible while it rebuilds its staff back to pre-closure levels. 

“The facility is excellent, it has the capacity for 35,000 head of cattle and we want to get it back to that level,” Mr Berry said.

“There’s no reason why we won’t need 60-odd staff going forward and our HR team are looking to re-engage with people that we previously employed.

“It’s not just feeder cattle, there are also great opportunities for commodities in the local area.

“In 2012 we made the decision based on market conditions to close Prime City but we’re upbeat about opportunities for grain fed beef in the international marketplace, especially selling Riverina meat to the European Union, high-end Chinese and Middle-Eastern markets.”

Benerembah irrigation farmer Peter Flanagan was upbeat about the news after he was forced to sacrifice 1300 hectares of barley for canola when the feedlot shut.

“From a cropping point of view it’s great news because it will help to put a floor in the grain market,” Mr Flanagan said.

“Every time you have close access and you can cut the freight back it’s a few more dollars back in your pocket.

“I think it’s quite possible a number of fellows will start growing barley for the feedlot and it’s great for the dry area farmers in Hillston and Hay who sometimes grow barley in rotation and will benefit from the cheaper freight.

“Of course the cattlemen throughout the lower Riverina and northern Victoria will be pleased they have another outlet for unfinished stock, especially as a lot of them don’t have enough feed to finish the cattle themselves.”

Mr Flanagan was thrilled for the town of Goolgowi which he suggested would greatly benefit from the new employment opportunities. 

“Goolgowi just about fainted when it was closing and a lot of young couples immediately rolled up their swag and moved on,” he said.

“Goolgowi is now a little more viable, especially with new development at Goolgowi by Baiada as well.”

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