WORKING IT OUT: A much relieved Chris Hill (centre front) starts his first day of work at Sunnybrand Chickens and is pictured h
WORKING IT OUT: A much relieved Chris Hill (centre front) starts his first day of work at Sunnybrand Chickens and is pictured h

Job offer is a ?blessing?Sunnybrand gives retrenched worker a new start

By SHAN GOODWIN

ONE of the region's largest employers, Byron Bay's Sunnybrand Chickens, has come to the rescue of retrenched meatworker Chris Hill.

After reading of Mr Hill's plight in The Northern Star, Sunnybrand's assistant general manager Robyn Holloway offered him a job loading and packing. He started full-time work last night.

Mr Hill was one of 25 workers retrenched when the Northern Co-operative Meat Company was forced to suspend boning operations at its Booyong pig plant last week due to a lack of supply.

He had moved his young family from Toowoomba to Bexhill only six weeks earli- er in search of a lifestyle change.

Yesterday, he said he was counting his blessings.

"Things couldn't have worked out better," he said.

"I'm working the nightshift which is great because it gives me time with the young bloke while he's still little. It's perfect for family life.

"We've had so much support since we got here. People at Bexhill have come up and introduced themselves and told me where to look for work.

"I'm very excited to be in a new industry and I feel really secure, like this area is looking after us."

Sunnybrand employs 330 men and women from throughout the Northern Rivers. They also provide work for 90 contractors and 15 Northern Rivers chicken farmers.

Mrs Holloway said Sunnybrand liked to employ local people and were constantly on the lookout for good staff. Chris Hill fit the bill.

Owned by Byron Bay local families the Gilmores and Langs, Sunnybrand runs at the highest standard of food safety accreditation.

With chicken consumption on the increase, Sunnybrand was moving into value-added products such as roasts, schnitzels and kebabs, Mrs Holloway said.

Meanwhile, all the other workers retrenched from the Booyong pig plant have either taken up work in other area's of the facility or found jobs in Queensland abattoirs.

"WE'VE had so much support since we got here. ... I feel really secure, like this area is looking after us."

IT was heartwarming to read these words from one of this region's newest residents, Chris Hill.

Mr Hill and his family had a poor welcome to the Northern Rivers when the Booyong piggery closed a few weeks after they arrived.

It was a cold shock for a family that, like so many others, had moved to the Northern Rivers looking for a better life and a better environment in which to raise their children.

But the people of the Northern Rivers have shown the family they made the right move.

Mr Hill yesterday told the Star that, since the piggery had closed, he and his family had received strong support from their neighbours at Bexhill and had made new and strong friendships in the region.

That was capped off with the best news of all on Monday ? that he was back in full-time work at Byron Bay's Sunnybrand Chickens.

The Northern Rivers really is a great place.



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