Agricultural company AAco says it will proceed with plans to build an $80 million abattoir at a site south of Darwin.
AAco, one of the producers affected by the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia last year, plans to buy the 600 hectare Livingstone Farm for $13.3 million.
The company says it has received approval from the Northern Territory Government for the development.
Managing director David Farley said in a statement that the company welcomed the news.
Mr Farley said the project has the capacity to process up to 1,000 head of cattle per day and will create 260 jobs.
He said the project "exceeds all the new clean energy legislation, improves animal welfare and will underpin the long term future for Australia’s northern pastoral industry, taking full advantage of its close proximity to the growing Asian markets".
The NT Government will not say whether it will pitch in any funding, despite committing $9 million to the project earlier this year.
"Because it's very early days, there's no financial investment decision, there's no final approvals processes," NT Treasurer Delia Lawrie said.
Earlier this year the proposed abattoir won support from the RSPCA, which said it would give northern producers the option to process their cattle in Australia, rather than overseas.
At present, there is no significant meat processing facility in the Northern Territory or in the far northern regions of Queensland and Western Australia.
Meat for the local markets is mostly trucked in from the south.
AAco operates 19 cattle stations, two feedlots and three farms in the Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.
It is the custodian of more than 7.2 million hectares, or about 1 per cent of Australia's land mass.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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