Support builds for western Queensland wool processing

Sheep Central, November 15, 2021

AN ECONOMIC development body in western Queensland is backing a plan to build a wool processing facility in the area.

Tony Rayner. Source: RAPAD

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.

Source: RAPAD















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  1. Johann Schroder, November 16, 2021

    This is an excellent initiative and need not be confined to wool shorn in Queensland. Scouring is the first step in the wool value-adding process and immediately virtually doubles the value of the on-sold product. It also ticks the local job creation box: win-win.

  2. Peter Small, November 15, 2021

    This area of Australia once produced large quantities of choice Merino wool. It is good news for the world textile industry that with the erection of “many thousands of kilometres of exclusion fencing” that Merino wool production is now rebounding. Much of this country is, many think, more suited to sheep than cattle, and sheep will bring people back into the area. Exciting to see.

  3. David McKenzie, November 15, 2021

    Even if this plant were to come to fruition, it is hard to see even the whole of Queensland’s wool clip being enough to sustain the operation.

    • Peter Small, November 15, 2021

      David, I am sure their feasibility study will demonstrate if a plant is viable. The positive is that exclusion fencing, and I would imagine more subdivision and watering points, should be good for both wool and the environment.

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