Abattoirs need a 'rissole-led recovery' says Labor MP

STRUGGLING abattoirs have been urged to "value add" to their products - a move Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller has dubbed the "rissole-led recovery".

Queensland Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson told a budget estimates hearing she understood the pressures meatworks were facing.

"I'm acutely aware of the concern that is held in that sector," she said. 

She said some abattoirs were looking to "value add" to their products to better compete with live exports.

When Ms Miller asked what value adding meant Ms Donaldson pointed to meatworks who froze or packaged their goods including making products like rissoles.

Ms Miller then mocked Ms Donaldson's suggestion.

"Minister, I note your rissoles-led recovery advice to Dinmore meat workers and I'm sure that at present they're consulting their CWA cookbooks," she said.

Queensland's biggest abattoir JBS Dinmore is located in Ms Miller's electorate.

JBS announced retrenchments at the Dinmore and Beef City, west of Toowoomba, abattoirs this month due to stock supply.

Unlike other government MPs Ms Miller has not been asking ministers scripted questions.

The Bundamba MP fell out with the party leadership after she resigned as police minister. A parliamentary ethics committee report found Ms Miller had acted "recklessly".

The Darling Downs region has experienced mixed fortunes in the meat processing industry with one abattoir recently announcing it would cut 60 staff and another announcing its closure.

There are also plans for two new facilities in the region.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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