Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Bold Bid to Keep Abattoir Running

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Bold Bid to Keep Abattoir Running

Article excerpt


A DARING plan to resurrect Killarney Abattoir as a co-operative, with financiers Rural Bank, the major shareholders has been proposed by a former Leitch Pastoral Group manager.

Rob Doro resigned from his position as the group's operations manager yesterday allowing him to put forward the proposal, which could see creditors recover millions and the Killarney community retain its primary employer.

He said the simple plan could be the only hope creditors have of recovering more than $3.8 million owed to them in the wake of the collapse of the Leitch Pastoral Group's three meat entities - Killarney Abattoir, Pittsworth Processing Plant and Condamine River Meats.

"The concept is very simple," Mr Doro said.

"All we - meaning both the public and creditors - have to do is convince Dudley Leitch and his financiers Rural Bank to forgo the assets of both the Killarney and Pittsworth processing plants and roll them into a new entity."

The daring proposal comes just a day before a public meeting of creditors organised by the group's administrator accounting firm Grant Thornton in Brisbane.

"Most creditors will never receive a cent of what is owed to them," Mr Doro said.

"Yet under this plan we would resurrect Killarney and Pittsworth as co-operatives and the money owed to creditors would be translated into shares, so people have a genuine chance of recovering their funds.

"What we need now is community support of this proposal so we can pressure Rural Bank and Mr Leitch into taking action to make this happen.

"In real terms the bank doesn't stand to lose anything, because they would become the biggest shareholders of the co-operatives.

"It would also leave Mr Leitch free to focus on addressing issues in his rural interests."

Mr Doro said the abattoirs would be resurrected as "true co-operatives" with an accountable board with independent and professional directors.

"This would work: it is very simple and with the community behind us as well as being part owner the plan can't fail," he said. …

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