THE Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken a lot of confidence from the interest shown by a recent Chinese delegation in Gunnedah.
Hosted by Gunnedah Shire Council, the delegates explored the potential for a future abattoir within the Gunnedah region.
Chamber vice president Michael Broekman told The Namoi Valley Independent the prospect of a possible abattoir for the shire was very exciting.
“It’s very exciting to see this kind of investment being considered in our shire given that agriculture is still the major driver of our economy,” Mr Broekman said.
“A facility like this not only will provide many new jobs for people of all skill levels already living in the shire but will also help attract new people to come live and work in Gunnedah.”
Mr Broekman said the chamber hoped the new abattoir would help solve Gunnedah’s current skills shortage.
“It would certainly be a step in the right direction,” he said.
“We are really hopeful it gets over the line because the benefits to our region would be massive.”
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said a decision regarding the project would “not happen overnight”.
“During their visit the delegates asked a lot of questions about the shire and while we were able to answer most of them at the time there are some answers that will take a little bit of time to put together,” he said.
“They made it very clear that they are considering doing business in Australia and are strongly considering Gunnedah as a location.
“They also made a commitment to us to be prompt in a decision regarding this project, at this point it is not possible to say exactly when a decision will be made but we are confident that when a decision is reached we will know about it.
“As a council were are working very hard doing whatever we can to make this happen, while we know it won’t happen overnight, and without getting everyone’s hopes up, we are pleased with how the delegates visit went and are looking forward to their response regarding the potential project in the coming weeks.”
Mr Broekman applauded council for being proactive about seeking out potential investors for the region.
“Certainly council deserve a lot of credit for bringing delegations like this one to Gunnedah,” he said.
“If it does go ahead, this is the sort of business that will attract new people to the area and will also have flow-on affects for other trades and businesses around the region.
“Industries such as our local producers will benefit from having the chance to deal direct with the abattoir, transporters will benefit from having more stock to carry and virtually every related business in between will benefit.
“We certainly hope from a chamber’s perspective that it gets over the line.”