Author Topic: Knives out over Darwin abattoir NT News 04.04.2012  (Read 989 times)

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Knives out over Darwin abattoir NT News 04.04.2012
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 05:28:20 PM »
THE arm-wrestling over Darwin's new $80 million abattoir turned has turned nasty.

Australian Agricultural Company head David Farley lashed out at the Federal Government for being reluctant to build a public road to the meatworks, and upgrade freezers and power at East Arm Wharf.

The company - Australia's biggest landholder - has said the taxpayer-funded infrastructure is needed for the abattoir to go ahead.

Mr Farley questioned Canberra's priorities after it gave $215 million to General Motors Holden, to safeguard 4600 jobs at Melbourne and Adelaide car plants.

He said Australia had given $20 million to Indonesia to build its beef industry but wouldn't support securing the future of Australia pastoralism.

Mr Farley also hit out at the Territory Government, saying Primary Industries Minister Kon Vatskalis had made "hollow" promises.

AACo plans to build an abattoir at Livingstone, 50km south of Darwin. The meatworks would process 1000 head of cattle a day at peak and create 270 rural jobs.

More than 90 per cent of the Territory's live cattle exports are to Indonesia.

But Jakarta has cut quotas in a bid to build its own herd.

NT cattle slaughtered in Australia are trucked to abattoirs in Queensland and Western Australia.

The state-of-the-art Darwin complex, which has won the approval of the RSPCA, would lead to a frozen meat export trade.

"This project ticks all the boxes - jobs, a new export industry for the Territory, economic benefits to the north, improved animal welfare and a reduced carbon footprint," Mr Farley said.

"How can it be more important to give $215 million to Holden or $20 million to the Indonesian Government?

"It makes me think either the budget is in worse shape than we have been told or this Government doesn't care about the future of the northern Australian cattle industry." The Darwin abattoir will be able to process cattle for less than $100 a head, compared with $320 elsewhere in Australia.

Mr Farley said AACo was not asking for handouts.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2012/04/04/297441_nt-business.html