Isaac Mayor Anne Baker, Acting Minister for Agriculture and Rural Economic Development and Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, ALP state election candidate for Burdekin Mike Brunker, and Sondella Meat Works proponents Josie and Blair Angus.
Isaac Mayor Anne Baker, Acting Minister for Agriculture and Rural Economic Development and Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, ALP state election candidate for Burdekin Mike Brunker, and Sondella Meat Works proponents Josie and Blair Angus. Sharon Smallwood

In line for first slice of NAIF in CQ

EXCLUSIVE: A $30 million abattoir near Clermont has all but been confirmed as getting the first slice of Northern Australia Infrastructure Funding in Central Queensland.

The meatworks will process 300 carcasses a day and provide 90 jobs, and should be constructed by mid-next year, according to Signature Beef owner Blair Angus.

Getting the project to this stage has taken quite some time, he said, with a lengthy application process with council, and waiting for NAIF to tweak requirements.

"This is a project with a fair bit of innovation and new concepts, it's great that the NAIF now have the ability to embrace those sorts of things," Mr Angus said.

Mr Angus said there were conditions imposed by Isaac Regional Council which were "onerous" but he was happy to work on them as he understood the project was unique and no precedence had been set.

"Once we're through this due diligence stage we'll be ready to go. We're at the stage where we now have our approval from council, we received that in December, it was more about trying to negotiate the management procedures they put on us.

"They are able to consider projects like ours, we were slightly under the scale they were looking at before."

Senator Matt Canavan, who was in part responsible for the changes to the NAIF, all but confirmed the success of the application.

"The recent changes I and the government made to the NAIF provide a lot more flexibility to provide projects like the meatworks in Clermont," he said. "We explicitly identify that the NAIF is able to fund agricultural processing facilities."

However, a vital piece of infrastructure, the sealing of the Pasha Rd corridor, is yet to happen ahead of the abattoir which is touted for completion mid-next year.

Property owner and grazier Josie Blair said the infrastructure was necessary for expansion and that her "customers in Europe get a call" when it rains on the 33km stretch of unsealed road.

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said the council was continuing to work with the Angus family on the project.

"This includes advocating to higher levels of government for funding assistance to deliver infrastructure upgrades which will support the potential of this meatworks project," she said.

"A commitment by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to support this project would certainly be another important win for the developers and the Isaac region.

"Council also has an important statutory role as the development assessment and approval authority. This includes the framing of approval conditions to ensure compliance with planning scheme provisions and mitigating the potential impacts.

"At present these particular matters are being considered by the Planning and Environment Court."

In the Mackay region there are four more projects chasing a grant, including a solar farm and an eco-resort.



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