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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2548

Mr COULTON (ParkesDeputy Speaker) (10:27): I rise to speak about a very exciting project that's happening in my electorate at the moment and that's the small stock abattoir at North Bourke in New South Wales. It's a $61 million project under construction by Capra Developments in partnership with the Australian government with a $10 million contribution under the National Stronger Regions Fund, the Bourke Shire Council and the New South Wales government is assisting as well. We were pleased to see last week the New South Wales government donated two buses to enable the workers to travel from Bourke out to this site at North Bourke.

Ultimately, the proposal is to slaughter up to 6,000 goats a day at this site and create over 200 jobs. I've had Bourke in my electorate now for 10 years. One of the things that some of the old hands tell me about was the glory days when the abattoir on the other side of town was in full operation and the pride that people had in having a skill, having a career and having a job in that abattoir. When it closed down, there wasn't really much that replaced it. With Bourke being in the centre of the feral goat population in western New South Wales, it's ideally placed to take advantage of this resource. But I also think we'll see, over a period of time, more of the pastoralists in that area will, rather than seeing the goats as a feral pest, start to farm and manage them. The future of the industry looks really good; exports are up 20 per cent in the last year, the prices are rising and demand worldwide for goat meat is huge.

A lot of words are said in this place about what we are doing for the Indigenous communities and the Indigenous people. I got roused on in the chamber last week because I didn't go to a breakfast and that was a disrespectful thing to do. But to put 200 jobs in Bourke, to provide 200 families with the security, the pride and the stability of having regular work will make real difference to those communities. In partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, which is working in Bourke and Brewarrina, high schools there are keeping these young people at school, giving them the framework, the skills and the motivation to step straight into the workforce and take advantage of this project. This is very exciting—the people of western New South Wales are excited about this and so am I.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Vamvakinou ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.