JBS's Rockhampton facility to re-open next Tuesday

IT'S been more than five weeks since JBS employees last set foot in their workplace, but in one week from now alarm clocks will have roused staff ready for their first day back.

With extensive damage caused to the Rockhampton meat processing facility after Cyclone Marcia, there was a huge amount of work required to get the place operational, but next Tuesday the plant will be open again.

Rockhampton plant manager Bill Sauer said the necessary construction was running as scheduled, with all machinery currently pre-running to ensure it was working properly.

He said there had been some teething problems, which was to be expected, but he was excited about finally being operational again.

"It's been frustrating," Mr Sauer said.

"It will be good to get back to what we're good at… (and) it will be good to see all our employees back."

There were 530 employees who were temporarily put out of work when the cyclone smashed the building, releasing asbestos from the damaged roof.

Yesterday they were contacted and told the opening date.

About 70 staff members were temporarily relocated to other facilities to allow them to continue working, and Mr Sauer said some would remain at those other sites until as late as Thursday.

JBS Rockhampton sustained a lot of damage to the roof and windows as well as structural damage, which brought down large chunks of asbestos at the plant.

They also lost all of the 700 carcases that had been slaughtered the day before the cyclone hit. Mr Sauer has previously said that based on the current market price, they were worth about $1000 each.



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