V & V Walsh hoping to secure land for $30m expansion which would create up to 150 jobs

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Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
COUNTRYMAN. V & V Walsh director Peter Walsh at the Bunbury-based abattoirs. PICTURE: DANELLA BEVIS
Camera IconCOUNTRYMAN. V & V Walsh director Peter Walsh at the Bunbury-based abattoirs. PICTURE: DANELLA BEVIS Credit: Countryman

One of the country’s biggest meat processors is looking to expand its South West site through the construction of a $30 million, “state-of-the-art” cold storage facility.

Davenport-based V & V Walsh Meat Processors and Exporters are hoping to secure a 51,997sq m lot between the plant and South Western Highway for the expansion, which is anticipated to create up to 150 jobs.

In an application submitted to the Bunbury City Council, the business – which has operated in the region for more than 60 years and produces more than 40 million kg of meat products each year – has requested the City relinquish its management of the industry-zoned parcel of land.

The proposed cold storage facility is anticipated to add a significant number of jobs to the company’s already 1000-strong workforce, chief executive Peter Walsh said in his submission to the council.

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“Early scoping of this project estimates it to be a $30 million project for the region and the creation of approximately 100 to 150 jobs across both the cold store and our processing plant,” he said.

We see this infrastructure project as being not only a huge benefit to our business and its long standing history of being one of Bunbury’s biggest employers but also a fantastic opportunity for the greater South West region which will have flow-on effects right throughout the agricultural sector.

Peter Walsh

The proposed expansion aligns with the company’s vision to increase the number of lamb processed at the site annually from 800,000 to one million.

As part of this growth strategy there has become a strong need to have the capacity to freeze product on-site to both secure our export licenses as well as maintain competitive advantage in the market.

Peter Walsh

Mr Walsh anticipated it would increase demand and competition for farmers by driving livestock demand and would provide an opportunity for “key supermarkets” to grow their exporting capabilities.

If given the green light, a stage two expansion of the facility — which would have direct links to the processing plant as well as highway access — to establish it as a freezer and distribution centre for the South West could also be on the horizon.

The application will be put to Bunbury city councillors next week.

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