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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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22 June, 2020

Longreach slaughterhouse doors re-open

HE BEGAN as an employee of Savage’s Butchery three years ago; 14 months ago Jerome Marks leased the Eagle Street meat outlet, and now he and wife Erin have obtained from the Queens-land Department of Agriculture and Fisheries the lease to operate the slaughterhouse on land previously occupied by the Longreach Pastoral College.

By Hamish Hart

Mark-ing their territory…Longreach butchers, Erin and Jerome Marks, have big and beefy plans for their newly-leased slaughterhouse.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Mark Furner, said businesses, organisations and individuals had last year been invited to make submissions on the future use of the former college facilities.

“The QATC Transition Project Management Office has been assessing a range of proposals on how to best re-purpose facilities with commercially sustainable future uses for college assets,” the Minister said.

“After submitting a plan to re-commission the slaughterhouse facilities on the campus area for incorporation into their local business, Longreach locals the Marks family (trading as Jemco Qld Pty Ltd) have been given the go-ahead.

“Currently they run Savages Butchery in town, and this new venture will complement that operation,” Minister Furner said.

Remote Area Planning and Development Board CEO, David Arnold, said the RAPAD board’s licence over the college slaughterhouse is set to expire at the end of 2020, with new lessees working-out an agreement with QDAF.

“The slaughterhouse was withdrawn from the licence-to-occupy granted to RAPAD,” Mr Arnold said. “This decision was made because RAPAD’s licence is until November 2020 and it was in the interests of third parties to negotiate a longer term tenancy agreement with QDAF.

 “It’s fantastic to see a local business taking the opportunity to grow and utilise the fantastic facilities at the former college. RAPAD hopes to work closely with the lessee of the slaughterhouse as it takes up occupancy.”

BF Savage and Co Butchery owners and new slaughterhouse lessees, Erin and Jerome Marks, said their lease was valid for two years, but hoped to operate the Longreach abattoir and support regional communities for a longer period of time.

“We have been looking at doing this for a few years and are ready to get started,” Erin Marks said. “It’s a bonus add-on for our butchery so we can supply the locals.

“We prefer to source locally as some of the meat we get through wholesalers isn’t saleable, and it gives graziers another option. At the moment we have beef and sheep, but we are looking to supply goat in the near future — and pigs long-term as there aren’t many piggeries out here.

“It’s a niche market and we rarely see large pig breeders in the area, so we want people to have that option.”

The Marks family said they wanted to support other butcheries in the area and were discussing future plans with QDAF, but weren’t ready to jump the gun.

“There is a two-year lease, with a further two-year option,” Mrs Marks said. “We are in talks with QDAF for a solitary party to take it on, and if QDAF are ready to continue, we’ll see what happens.

“Everything is up in the air and we want to do five years if all goes to plan. We have plans in place, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.

“We could supply to other butcheries in the near future. They do their own thing and we do have a few clients not in Longreach. If they ask, we are more than happy to oblige.”

QDAF has entered into a two-year agreement with the Marks to occupy and develop the site with its abattoir facilities and holding yards, with required licences through Safe Food Production Queensland remaining in place.

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