Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan yesterday joined Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley and The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner at Frewstal’s abattoir in Stawell to open a $2.1 million expansion at the facility which will enable the company to increase the production and storage of cut and boned out meat.
The expansion project, which involved the construction of a new freezer/chiller facility at Frewstal, has created 98 jobs and is expected to boost the company’s export to Asia.
According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, the Victorian Coalition Government has invested $500,000 to support the expansion, with Frewstal contributing more than $1.5 million and the Northern Grampians Shire Council contributing $30,000 in planning support.
“This investment ensures Frewstal will continue to process meat locally, supporting local jobs and the local community. The expansion has exceeded everyone’s expectations, with the original estimate of 50 new jobs almost doubling to 98 new jobs once the project was complete,” Mr Ryan said.
“A growth in demand from export markets continues to drive the business and the Coalition Government looks forward to working with the company to deliver further expansions at the site.”
He said the new freezer/chiller facility had a capacity of 168 tonnes which enabled product to be supplied direct to port from Stawell, supplying high value export markets.
He said the project also included upgrades to truck loading areas, new car parking facilities and improved access in and out of the site.
Mr Turner welcomed the investment, describing Frewstal as a regional success story, which had grown from 37 staff in 1984 to employing more than 400 staff today.
“The Stawell plant can process more than 1.3 million head of mutton and lamb per year, servicing major supermarket chains, butchers and wholesalers, as well as export markets,” Mr Turner said.
“Four years ago, Frewstal became a Halal accredited site to complement its move into the export market, opening up a wider customer base both overseas and domestically.”
Ms Staley has also welcomed the investment and said it was another example how the Coalition Government was growing jobs and investment right across the Ripon electorate.
“Here in the Northern Grampians Shire, the Coalition Government, through the Regional Growth Fund has invested more than $3.5 million to support 34 projects, leveraging almost $6 million in total investment,” Ms Staley said.
“This project has created new jobs, boosted exports and ensures a bright future for Frewstal’s Abattoir in Stawell.”