MORE than 150 jobs could be created if a new abattoir to process sheep and goat meat just outside of Mooroopna is approved to go ahead, which is expected to inject up to $1B into the local economy.
While no official planning permit has been submitted to Greater Shepparton City Council, EI Group has been in discussion with council on what would be required.
The initial proposal has suggested that the meatworks facility would be developed at the site of a former 161ha dairy farm at Gillieston, and would source sheep and goat meat locally, which would be exported interstate and overseas.
Meatworks Australia project director, Raed Elmasri said the company had spent the past two years searching the country for appropriate sites but had decided on the Goulburn Valley because of its proximity to livestock and the major highways.
“This kind of operation would inject up to $1B into the local economy in five years and we are hoping to see it up and running in the next 18 months, following approval,” Mr Elmasri said.
‘‘The reason we decided to go down this path is because we do see that agriculture is the future of Australia, that there is enormous food demand in international markets, particularly with rising economies in South-East Asia.”
Greater Shepparton City Council Manager Planning and Building, Colin Kalms said, “The planning department has informed that planning permission would be required for use and development and have informed of what would be required to be submitted with the application.
“Council officers are of the understanding that the proponent has been discussing the proposal with the EPA.”
An information session is on Monday, August 14 from 10:30am at Merrigum Bowls Club.