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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3045

Mr LITTLEPROUD (Maranoa) (16:03): It is with sadness today that I rise in this place to speak about the tragic fire at the Swickers Kingaroy bacon factory in Queensland's South Burnett that destroyed the boning room yesterday morning. Swickers is the largest pig processing facility in Australia, the largest employer in Kingaroy and one of the largest employers in the South Burnett region. Swickers is also the largest pork abattoir in the southern hemisphere and Queensland's only exporting pig abattoir. In the lead up to Christmas, this fire is extremely unfortunate not only for the owners of this site factory and for the factory's nearly 600 employees and their families but also for the whole community, which relies on Swickers as the major economic contributor to the Kingaroy economy.

I reached out to the owners and discussed the disaster with them this morning. I would like to acknowledge them for their proactive and professional response in ensuring that their people are being looked after as a priority following this disaster. As a consequence, I have also briefed the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, on potential assistance Swickers may require in expediting the return to full capacity and I am comforted by his unwavering support to make this happen. It is important that the rebuilding of this factory be supported by all tiers of government and that we make sure that we get Swickers back to work as soon as possible.

On that note, I wish to acknowledge the local council led by Mayor Keith Campbell, the Queensland government and the state member for Nanango and deputy opposition leader, Deb Frecklington, for her prompt response and sincere support. I know Swickers will be doing all they can to get back on their feet. I want to extend my support to them and the owners. (Time expired)