The 2018 Central Highlands Abattoir Feasibility Statement, being released at today’s Meet the Food Innovators Forum, is an important milestone for the region’s cattle producers.

Using published data, the study benchmarks the total capital cost of an abattoir would be just over $100 million and it would cost $23.5 million per annum to operate.

With a total throughput of 100,000 cattle per annum, focussing on the high-volume processing of cattle in the 400kg to 500kg weight range, the abattoir could expect to return an income of over $204 million per annum.

ACIL Allen Consulting was commissioned by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) to conduct the research.

A summary can also soon be found at chdc.com.au; a full copy of the comprehensive report is available on request from CHDC.

CHDC Chairman and Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes says the conclusive study is critical to demonstrating a viable business case for the project.

“The processing industry requires unique dynamics to be successful, and we believe that the evidence-based approach taken will attract a successful operator to the Central Highlands,” Cr Hayes says.

“I believe this study is the first genuine evaluation of Central Queensland’s meat processing capacity that measures livestock categories that are most prevalent in our production systems.

“The study combines premium quality grassfed carcass weights with grain finished trade weights, which are the predominant turnoff in our region.”

The report recommended that a custom kill service should be offered to provide local cattle producers with the option of killing and marketing their own beef products, recognising that currently there is a reduced revenue stream from this activity.

Cr Hayes endorses the report’s finding that the Central Highlands is well placed to service the growing and potential demand from the export market for beef products.

“Queensland is clearly the nation’s largest beef processing State but many of its largest plants are located in semi-urban environments and face uncertain futures as population surrounds them,” he explains.

“Potential meat processing operators can access a green field site in close proximity to low cost utilities and the CQ Inland Port at Yamala, in the centre of the most prolific beef producing region in the nation.

“A 2018 State Government report assessed that the Central Highlands is one of three regions most likely to support a viable processing facility.

“This Statement builds on this work, to identify the Central Highlands as an even more compelling investment proposition for developers.”

Beef production contributes 70 percent of the Central Highlands’ agricultural output; an estimated 1.4 million head of cattle reside in the Local Government Area, representing 5.5 percent of the national herd.

Meet the Food Innovators is an event that is exploring alternative high-value markets for local products and strengthen links in the local food chain – for farmers and consumers.

The event was supported by Advance Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Central Highlands Regional Council, and the Local Buying Foundation.
Find the event on social media using #foodinnovators. Follow CHDC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Please contact Liz Alexander on (07) 4982 4386 or 0429 471 511 for further information.

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