The road to recovery for Thomas Foods International (TFI) takes a major step forward today, as the first sod is turned on a new public road access to the multi-million dollar facility.
The Australian and South Australian governments have provided $14 million, on a 50:50 basis, to deliver road access to the meat processing facility to be built six kilometres north of Murray Bridge, with construction being managed by Rural City of Murray Bridge.
The new junction at Mannum Road will include protected turning and deceleration and acceleration lane to assist with traffic flows along Mannum Road.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the State Government was investing record levels of funding in regional road infrastructure.
“With the support of the Federal Government, we are getting these regional projects underway to keep more South Australians in a job and create a safer, more efficient regional road network,” he said.
“This project will provide safe road access to the new processing facility for its anticipated 2000 staff (when fully operational) as well as the higher productivity freight vehicles transporting livestock to the site, and processed goods to domestic and international markets.
“At the same time, we have just released a tender for shoulder sealing works as part of the $12 million North-South Freight Route, and we’re going to fix about 39 kilometres of road between the Sturt Highway and Murray Bridge, further improving access to this new facility.
Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Federal Government was making significant investments in regional Australia to support jobs and local communities.
“This facility is a vital part of not only the Murraylands but the wider industry in South Australia, helping to create and sustain jobs. Construction starting on the $14 million State and Federal Government investment into road access for the new facility is an exciting step forward for the TFI rebuild. The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of domestic manufacturing and in particular Australian food processing,” Mr Pasin said.
“And it’s not just the TFI facility to benefit from these road works. Upgrading this road infrastructure is opening new opportunities for industry in the area as well as making the road safer for all motorists,” Mr Pasin said.
State Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick said this project was a great example of all three tiers of government working together.
“I welcome this next step towards the building of the new TFI facility,” he said.
“This new facility will support thousands of direct and indirect jobs well into the future.
“This investment demonstrates both the State and Federal Governments’ commitment to regional South Australia and in particular the Murraylands region.”
Construction of the project is being managed by Rural City of Murray Bridge and involves building a new 2.2-kilometre public access road to the facility.
Mayor Brenton Lewis said building this infrastructure was an important step in supporting the retention of a significant employer and industry for the region.
“TFI is one of our largest employers and they are investing several hundred million dollars in this new state-of-the-art processing facility that will employ about 2000 people once its fully operational,” he said.
“The impact of the devastating fire that tore through the original facility in January 2018 was felt deeply throughout our community. TFI has shown great loyalty to our community and an unwavering commitment to re-establishing operations in our Rural City.
“Council is proud to be playing a significant role in this infrastructure project to help make it happen.”
Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd was earlier this month announced as the successful tenderer for the upgrade’s construction.
Works are targeted for completion by the end of this year.
For more information about the project, visit www.dpti.sa.gov.au/infrastructure/road_projects/thomas_foods_international_access.