News

Abattoir could inject $1 billion and 150 jobs

By Holly Tregenza

You might not know Gillieston, an area south-east of Lancaster. But all going well, you soon will.

The little town is on track to host an abattoir that could inject $1billion and 150 jobs into the Goulburn Valley economy, and cut out travel to abattoirs at Kyneton, Ararat and Stawell.

The project has developed into the planning, community consultation and approval stage.

Meatworks Australia project director Raed Elmasri said the company had spent two years searching for appropriate sites across the country, settling on the Goulburn Valley because of its proximity to livestock and the Hume Hwy.

The 30000sqm abattoir site, which was originally proposed in 2017 by Meatworks Australia, would be built on a former dairy farm at 630 Lancaster-Mooroopna Rd, Gillieston, if approved by Greater Shepparton City Council.

Expected to run 12 hours-a-day, six- days-a-week, sheep processed through the facility would be sourced from Victorian and interstate farms.

The planning permit predicts 27 heavy vehicles would travel in and out of the site each day and a turning lane would need to be added to the east-bound lane of Lancaster-Mooroopna Rd to accommodate increased traffic.

Waste water would be processed at the site, with water to be reused for irrigation throughout the season for fodder production and grazing.

It is estimated between 30ha and 90ha of pasture would be irrigated each year, with production expected to be about 10 tonnes of dry matter each year.

A project spokesperson said the construction phase of the abattoir was expected to employ more than 100 tradespeople and consultants and take 18 months to complete.

■A summary of the application is at: engage.vic.gov.au/epa-works-approvals

Parties wishing to comment on the application, make a submission or object have until 5pm on Wednesday, June 12. Responses can be sent via Greater Shepparton City Council’s website at www.greatershepparton.com.au or posted to Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton, 3632.