AN ECONOMIC development body in western Queensland is backing a plan to build a wool processing facility in the area.
The Remote Area Planning and Development Board is financially supporting feasibility works required to progress a wool processing plant in Blackall.
RAPAD chairman and Longreach Regional Council mayor Tony Rayner said processing was the next step after building thousands of kilometres of exclusion fencing in the past decade.
“We know the wool industry is an excellent economic and population driver for our region, that’s why we have worked hard on exclusion fencing,” Cr Rayner said said.
“That’s why we are now supporting the Blackall region to process greasy wool so the region can capitalise on our raw products.”
RAPAD has provided a $50,000 grant to support a technical feasibility study and progress an initial offering in the venture.
This feasibility will assist to secure an in-principal agreement from the State Government for water, secure an option to acquire land for development, develop a labour force strategy for construction and operations, continue work on a logistic strategy for supply and customers, establish electricity supply strategy and help develop a capital estimate for the plant.
In 2020, the Blackall Tambo Regional Council commissioned a study into the feasibility of establishing an end-to-end wool processing plant.
The report found it was economically viable and would give an enormous economic boost to the whole of the central west region.
A company called Queensland Wool Processors (QWool) has since been formed and has been raising seed funding, closing on the 19th November.
“RAPAD can see the long-term potential benefits to the nation, and the entire region not just Blackall Tambo,” RAPAD director and Blackall/Tambo mayor Andrew Martin said.
“To be able to grow the wool, process it and supply woollen products to the market all from this region will see jobs and investment flow through the entire central west.”
The RAPAD area covers a total area of 396 609 km² – or almost a quarter (22.9 per cent) of the land area of
Queensland. RAPAD councils are Barcaldine Regional Council, Barcoo Shire Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, Boulia Shire Council, Diamantina Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council.