JOBS CRISIS: Hundreds of new roles for redundant meatworkers

THE majority of the workers who lost their jobs at Churchill Abattoir have a good chance of finding a new one before Christmas.

More than 250 people left the plant for the last time in September when the last animals were slaughtered and boned.

Another 300 will lose their jobs when the Woolworths-managed sausage room, packaging room and corning room stop operations next year.

Australian Meat Industry Employees' Union Queensland Branch secretary Matt Journeaux said 180 people had already stepped into roles at JBS at Dinmore and a further 268 would be employed in the near future.

He said smaller meat processing plants throughout the Ipswich region had also given some roles to impacted workers.

They're the latest in a long list of job offers from meatworks throughout Queensland, NT and NSW in the wake of the crisis announced in August.

"It really has been positive, things seem to be flowing along well," he said.

"For those who are yet to find a new job, the Department of Employment and Training are offering some tertiary training options for those employees so they should be grabbing that with both hands."

Earlier this month, JBS announced it had the capacity to immediately hire more than 200 workers across its Wacol and Dinmore facilities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government would offer up to $1.2 million in assistance for training via the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

"Hundreds of people have lost their jobs in Ipswich," the Premier said earlier this month.

"I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with JBS who came to me with some really good ideas for expansion here locally for their headquarters here at Wacol and at Dinmore.

"JBS has a really proud record not just in this state but across Australia. In fact, their headquarters are here at Wacol. They came to me and suggested they could take on more workers here, in Queensland.

"This is great news for the people who lost their jobs. This is long term secure employment."

It is understood Churchill Abattoir owners are still working on a plan to re-open the plant by mid next year as an exporter to sell offal and other cuts to international markets.

There is hope the owners can score a deal with a joint venture partner and lock in funding to secure the futures of 500 affected workers but they need to make it happen by June 30 or "it's all over red rover".

They need $35 million in capital budget to make the plan work which includes tapping into offshore markets to sell every last scrap of the beast, right down to the tip of its tail.


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