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$30m CQ meatworks plan stalls, with 70 jobs in limbo

The aerial view of the proposed meatworks at Sondella Station.
The aerial view of the proposed meatworks at Sondella Station. SBP Australia

THE development of a meatworks outside Moranbah has been in the pipeline for more than two years and within just 13 minutes the project was back to the drawing board.

Despite being approved by Isaac Regional Council, the number of conditions on the $30million project has stalled progress despite everyone wanting it to go ahead.

The proposed meatworks at Josie and Blair Angus' Sondella Station would create about 70 jobs and slaughter 200 head of cattle a day.

It has been heralded by Isaac Regional Council, economic groups and the State Government as the type of project the region needs to diversify.

But at the council's ordinary meeting last week, Mrs Angus withdrew her application to negotiate the conditions on the project.

The council minutes reveal that Mrs Angus arrived at 12.59pm. She was welcomed by the mayor Anne Baker.

Ten minutes later she was outside the council chambers with council chief executive officer Gary Stevenson.

She wrote a notice to Mr Stevenson withdrawing the application.

He returned back into the meeting at 1.12pm alone.

On Monday, Mrs Angus met with builders to go through the design of the meatworks again.

Mrs Angus said the obstacles she was facing were the "number of conditions, the uncertainty of some conditions and the onerous nature of some conditions given (the) remote location".

Isaac region mayor Anne Baker said she and the council supported the project.

"The council has applied for more than $900,000 from the Australian Government, with matched council funds of more than $900,000 to undertake road improvements for this development," Cr Baker said.

Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said he had spoken to the council and developers to try and get the project happening .

"We are taking an engaging role with all the players," he said.

"I believe there is goodwill and common purpose from the proponents, council and Queensland Government to resolve the outstanding issues."

Greater Whitsunday Alliance chief executive officer Garry Scanlan believed the project would happen. "We're supportive of the development, supportive of Josie and Blair's efforts to get the development off the ground," he said.

"We think it is an economic driver for the region. It would open up export markets and high value-adding in terms of cattle production."



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