The Department of State Development (DSD) has been leading a whole-of-government response to the fire that destroyed the Swickers bacon factory export distribution centre, boning room and chillers in Kingaroy in early November.

Swickers Bacon Factory sign
Image courtesy of Sunpork Fresh Foods Pty Ltd.

The South Burnett Local Disaster Management Group, emergency services, Swickers personnel, community, government, industry and the insurer are working together to get the company back to full production as soon as possible.

Immediate response and recovery operations focused on Swickers meeting with affected staff, and the removal of lost product and ammonia from the site which was expedited through support, approvals and advice from the Department of State Development, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and South Burnett Regional Council.

Swickers, with support from Ipswich City Council, has redeployed approximately 120 workers to a new boning plant at Wilpak Meats Ipswich for 12–24 months while the Kingaroy facility is rebuilt. All other workers remain in Kingaroy and can continue work in the unaffected areas of the factory. There were no job losses or disruptions to pay for workers as a result of the fire.

Swickers' actions have demonstrated commitment to its staff and the South Burnett community and at a recent business gathering, Swickers and local council both expressed appreciation for the responsiveness and commitment by DSD and Queensland Government.