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JOBS CRISIS: 'We won't be propped up'

TEAM EFFORT: Jim Madden MP, with Minister Grace Grace, Churchill Abattoir director Barry Moule, Jen Howard MP and Mayor Antoniolli .
TEAM EFFORT: Jim Madden MP, with Minister Grace Grace, Churchill Abattoir director Barry Moule, Jen Howard MP and Mayor Antoniolli . Rob Williams

A TOP politician has been sent to Churchill Abattoir on a fact finding mission as the State Government prepares for a similar fallout experienced after Queensland Nickel collapsed.

But, unlike when Clive Palmer begged the government to help him secure a loan to save Queensland Nickel, Churchill Abattoir owner Barry Moule has no interest in "being propped up by any government".

Instead, Mr Moule hopes to secure a business partner who will allow him to transform Australia's biggest domestic abattoir into a profitable export business, feeding Chinese customers.

Queensland Employment Minister Grace Grace met with Churchill Abattoir owner Barry Moule at the Abattoir yesterday to discuss how the State Government could help limit stress on affected families and help secure a future for the business.

Minister Grace said her mission was to understand exactly what had lead to the decision to close the facility before looking for solutions.

For Mr Moule, the idea of securing an investor to help him break into the Chinese market - where demand for top quality beef is high - is not new.

"This is a commercial operation and I don't necessarily want to be propped up by the government... we stand on our own two feet," Mr Moule said.

"We've been trying to go export for the last couple of years and looking at markets in China in particular."

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Churchill Abattoir signed a joint venture agreement with a Chinese company in 2014 to supply beef into China worth $35 million.

But the Chinese company was caught up in the contaminated frozen berry recall and the deal fell through.

Mr Moule said securing a business partner would be the "ideal outcome" and Minister Grace said if the government can help, it would.

"If Barry is saying, is there a really gung-ho trade investment Queensland person in Shanghai we can talk to, who has people on their books saying we want to invest in a meat export business in Queensland, then we'll put them in contact," Minister Grace said.

Information sessions have been organised for affected workers with Local, State and Federal Governments working together to ensure people have access to help applying for any assistance. 

Topics:  churchill abattoir grace grace ipswich business job losses


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