Plans for a multi million dollar integrated protein production hub at Coominya has been awarded preliminary approval by Somerset Regional Council.
The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct master plan aims to satisfy Asia’s appetite for quality meat and will help position the region for a buoyant future.
Brisbane Valley Protein managing director, Duncan Brown, welcomed Somerset Regional Council’s strong endorsement of the precinct which he said would help provide a future opportunity in food production for generations to come.
“The Somerset Region already punches above its weight in terms of producing quality meat products for the world and food production accounts for more employment than any other sector,” Mr Brown said.
“Council’s support means this future is secure with nearly 3000 acres set aside for projects that support the growing, processing and exporting of quality products as well as training of young people for a future in food and hospitality initiatives that will continue to put the region on the map as a food tourism destination.
“Our hope is the precinct becomes a hub for conceiving and realising food production dreams.”
The master plan is set on 2500 acres near the township of Coominya and features 10 sub-areas accommodating a range of uses from food-based tourism, training, meat processing and livestock production.
Mr Brown said the preliminary approval reflected the strong community support for the project and meant the “heavy lifting” had been done up front in terms of environmental modelling.
“We went through a 60 day community consultation process and didn’t receive a single negative submission,” he said.
“We’d like to thank the community for their belief in the project and the positive outcomes we all believe it can deliver in the area.
“The approval provides a major shot of confidence for investors and others seeking to bring the precinct to life.”
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the development was the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia.
“This development is well planned, strategic and will bring huge benefits to the region,” Cr Lehmann said.
“This is great news for our community in that it will bring more jobs to the region and showcase Somerset on the international stage through production, exports and hospitality modelling.”
The master planned area will include a variety of rural and food production land uses that could include poultry, quail, game birds, cattle protein precincts including food processing, hatcheries and a growing farm.
Also contained within the master plan is the establishment of a produce pavilion, restaurants, markets, food hospitality areas including state-of-the-art training facilities, tourist park and a function facility.
The project will be rolled out in stages, each stage subject to a code assessable development application, with stage one of the precinct – an integrated, ‘hatch to dispatch’ quail business – completed in August this year and the first exports of quail to Asia happening last week.