Australia’s SunPork Group has completed an extension to its Swickers abattoir in Queensland, a project that has created more than 200 jobs.

SunPork invested AUD64m (US$43.4m) in the Kingaroy abattoir following a fire late in 2016 with support from the government’s AUD175m Jobs and Regional Growth Fund. Cameron Dick, the minister for state development and manufacturing, said the number of employees at the site has now grown to more than 800, from 570 previously. 

SunPork chief executive and managing director Dr Robert van Barneveld suggested the Swickers plant is now the most advanced pork abattoir in Australia.

He added: “Given the importance of this facility to the Australian pork industry, we decided to recognise the new processing floor commissioning with an open day for pork producers, wholesalers and our key retail customers. Many producers and wholesalers will rely on the efficiency and quality standards in our plant to maintain and develop their business well into the future.”

SunPork is also planning to further develop its pig plant in Tong Park, again with the support of the government fund, although a final decision has not yet been made. 

Mark Furner, the minister for agricultural industry development and fisheries, said the expansion project has more than doubled the processing capacity of Swickers Bacon Factory.

“As Queensland’s only export-accredited pork abattoir, the Swickers facility will stimulate long-term economic growth in the region and underpin the state’s pork industry for the next 30 years and beyond,” he added.