Esperance abattoir set to reopen

One hundred local jobs are set to be recreated with the Myrup abattoir reopening under new management as early as February.

Previously owned by Shark Lake Food Group, the facility has been sold to Central Agri Group.

Central Agri Group partner Peter Polovinka said the company have already begun employing local workers.

Mr Polovinka will manage the team, which he expects to eventually consist of approximately 100 people from the Esperance region.

“I’ve already employed about four to five staff now who were workers at the previous business, just to get the operations starting,” he said.

“We’ll be employing people in January and, for those looking for work, we’ll require 50 staff when we first start up and I’d encourage workers from the previous business to come to the abattoir and apply.”

Mr Polovinka said a number of labour workers would also be employed to bring the facility ‘up to standard’ before reopening the plant.

“There is a lot of work that needs doing, a lot of cleaning up and labour intensive work, just to make it workable before reopening the plant,” he said.

Mr Polokinka said the abattoir would hold a ‘Tier Two’ export license, allowing the company to export produce around the globe.

“That export licence gives you full access, and that’s what you want, so that we can supply countries throughout the whole world.”

According to Mr Polovinka, the plant, which is expected to process 160 cattle and 1,600 sheep per day, will operate first as a ‘kill and chill’ plant before opening a boning room.

“It depends on whether we can get the numbers,” he said.

“We’ll definitely have to feel our way through in January and February and we’ll need the farmers’ support to get the plant operating.”

Shark Lake Food Group, co-owned by Rami Koyu, John Wildberger and John Reed, employed more than 100 workers up until May 2017. The company went into administration in May, after record lamb and beef prices resulted in a ‘difficult time’. 

Despite having only been put into administration six months ago, Mr Polovinka said he was positive the new operations would be more successful.

“It’s under totally new management and a totally new structure,” he said.

“It’ll be run in a very different way to what it was previously.

“I’ll be working here at the plant, alongside the workers.”

Central Agri Group, of Melbourne-based Central Meat Exports, now own and run meatworks at four locations within Australia, including Trafalgar, Cataby, Batchelor, and Esperance. Resumes can be sent direct to the facility.