Abattoir has been sold to Sunpork
THE former Leitch Pastoral Group Pittsworth abattoir has been sold to Sunpork Processing and could re-open within the next month with about 50 employees.
Sunpork Processing spokesman Brian McLean confirmed to the Daily News yesterday the plant was under a contract of sale with settlement due on June 28.
The plant closed on February 8 along with Killarney, also formerly operated by Leitch Pastoral Group.
The closure resulted in the loss of 230 jobs, with unsecured creditors owed almost $8m.
Sunpork Processing is owned by the CHM Alliance, a group of family enterprises which includes the Cameron Pastoral Group based at Goondiwindi.
CHM also owns the Swickers pork processing plant at Kingaroy.
Mr McLean, the owner of McLean Farms, said yesterday he anticipated a reduction in jobs at a re-opened Pittsworth plant, with the focus shifting from meat wholesaling to beef and lamb service kills for butchers and private kills.
He said it would also act as a backup pork processing site for Swickers when required.
“That will obviously mean a reduction in the number of employees required, but we are hoping to employ local people and past employees,” Mr McLean said.
Leitch Pastoral Group owner Dudley Leitch, who continues to farm sheep west of Warwick despite the two abattoirs being liquidated, told the Daily News last week a potential overseas buyer had inspected the Killarney plant.
He also said other potential buyers from Queensland and interstate had shown interest but he was unavailable for further comment last night.