JBS Australia has closed its steak processing facility in King Island, citing continual losses. The closure affects about 70 employees, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
JBS Australia, an arm of the world's biggest meat producer, said power prices and freight costs had contributed to its decision.
"We've put the resources behind it but the commercial aspects of the business have not stacked up and we've continued to be unprofitable there," JBS spokesman John Berry told AAP. "The community certainly will be impacted by this decision, there's no doubt about it.
"But what we're trying to do is make sure that everyone understands the reason for our decision and build confidence with the community ... that we will continue to be active in the market for their livestock and ensure the integrity of the King Island brand."
Production will move to a facility in Longford, Tasmania. Tasmania's Acting Premier Bryan Green said the state government had done all it could to keep the facility open, including a $12 million loan to JBS for an upgrade.
"The closure is undoubtedly a blow to the community," Green said in a statement. "The government has stood by King Islanders as we tried to keep the abattoir open and we will be there for them now."
Source: AAP, Sydney Morning Herald