Bourke buses on route
Buses from the Sydney transport network have been sent to Bourke, with Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance farewelling the buses as they left the city.
The buses new location in Bourke will ensure workers at the new $60 million goat abattoir will have transport to and from work every day.
The abattoir will capitalise on the boom in the goat meat industry as Bourke is situated in the State's goat heartland. The development will generate over 190 jobs for the town and surrounding regions and bolster the local economy by $50 million every year.
Like all abattoirs, it will be situated some distance from Bourke itself – close to 14km outside the township, and herein lay an issue – how would workers, especially younger apprentices, be able to get to work?
Deputy Premier John Barilaro toured the site in 2017 and was able to respond to community calls for reliable transport.
“The abattoir was always going to be a big job creator, but there were issues around how people in the region would actually get to work. The local community told the NSW Government they needed this new service, so we listened, and I’m delighted to deliver this practical solution.”
The buses were donated by Transport NSW and will relieve transport concerns and costs. The abattoir will also draw a proportion of its workers from Aboriginal communities, where many people don’t have reliable, daily access to a vehicle.
NSW Nationals Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries was excited to see the buses depart for Bourke, bringing the project one step closer to completion. The NSW Government is also taking steps to upskill local workers prior to the plant opening, with many aspects of abattoir work requiring highly skilled work.
“Another great thing about this project is the skills development program for which the government has committed $320,000 to train and upskill local workers and promote employment opportunities,” he said.
Goat meat is a growing area of income for the State’s West, with many farmers relying on feral goat meat to support their grazing incomes, while others have disbanded other domestic animals entirely to focus on goat meat production. At market peaks, B-double loads of goats can be worth as much as $100,000. The meat is mainly exported to South-East Asia, the Middle East, Hispanic countries and China.
The Bourke abattoir project was also the recipient of a Federal Government $10 million Stronger Regions Fund grant, agitated for by Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton. This is the largest grant to date in the electorate of Parkes.