The Kimberley Meat Co-operative (KMC) is a new pastoralist company that will acquire northern Western Australia’s only beef processing facility, located 100km east of Broome.
The KMC will operate the facility on a contract based with its members and processing at least 40,000 head of cattle per year. The KMC plans to begin operations at the abattoir in early 2022.
“The Kimberley Meat Co-operative heralds a new era for northern beef, providing an independent processing facility for pastoralist members to locally process their cattle,” WA Agriculture and Food minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
“We have been long-time supporters both of agricultural co-operatives and of local beef processing in the Kimberley, and this new ownership model will put the facility and the industry on a more sustainable footing moving forward.
As a co-operative, KMC will have access to the Western Australian government’s Co-Operative Loan Scheme, subject to the usual conditions of that scheme.
“Local processing provides a new market for the northern beef industry, creating local jobs in the Kimberley and filling international demand for quality WA beef products,” MacTiernan said.
“Importantly, the co-operative structure will also allow KMC to apply for support through our Co-operative Loan Scheme – which has provided more than $100 million in loans to WA co-operatives since 2004.”
Low-interest loans through the scheme allow co-operatives to claim a tax deduction on the principal repayments of the loan together with the usual taxation deductions of interest and fees.
“This is a fantastic milestone for Kimberley pastoralists, supporting local jobs and the local beef industry across the north,” Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna said.
“Congratulations to all involved, and we look forward to seeing the Kimberley processing facility reopen next year.”
MacTiernan met with prospective co-operative members in Broome last week as they finalised arrangements for the co-operative.