The region’s largest employer Frewstal Abattoirs announced it would create 30 new jobs after the company entered the final stages of construction as part of the facility’s expansion project.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said on Wednesday during a visit to the region, the expansion would safeguard more than 450 existing jobs at Stawell.
“We are helping grow Frewstal as one of regional Victoria’s major employers and ensure that local jobs and the Stawell community is given the chance to thrive in what is a tough time for all,” he said.
The state government invested $500,000 in the $1 million project to construct new truck access facilities, refurbish the stockyard, build elevated walkways and install a new guardhouse and boom gates at the site.
Mr Pallas said the expansion project would create opportunities for Frewstal to increase its meat exports to the Middle East, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States of America.
The announcement came after redundancies hit the town at key employers, Stawell Gold Mines and Stawell Tyre Yard, in December and January.
A Jobs For Stawell website also went live on Tuesday to help the town’s unemployed find work.
Northern Grampians Shire Council mayor Tony Driscoll said the abattoir expansion was another initiative to help keep skilled workers at Stawell.
“This is our largest employer in the Northern Grampians Shire,” he said.
“It is an integral part of our local economy and the state government’s ongoing support has been critical.”
Agricultural and Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said the Frewstal Abattoirs expansion would give more people in the Stawell community an opportunity to start their career.
“We know the importance of supporting the Stawell community and putting local jobs first,” she said.
Frewstal Abattoirs human resources manager Daryl Holloway said there had been a recent drive of employment at the site.
“This week we have 14 people going through a pre-employment program,” he said.
Mr Holloway also said the company hired three retrenched workers from the Gold Mines since the announced redundancies in December.
“We are happy to give them an opportunity and will accept applications from others.”