Farm jobs boost
Facility to offer up to 200 positions
A new hydroponic fruit and vegetable farm will bring about 200 new jobs to Benalla.
Planning permission for the facility was green-lit at the Benalla Rural City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting last Wednesday.
Prior to councillors voting to approve the project Mayor Don Firth commended council’s planning and engineering staff for their work.
‘‘This is another step in the right direction for Benalla, I am more than happy to recommend this to council,’’ Cr Firth said.
Councillors unanimously voted to approve planning for the facility, which will occupy a site on the corner of Gardner Rd and the Midland Hwy.
Due to the size of the project construction will take place in four stages, each providing about 50 jobs.
One greenhouse will be produced at each stage ranging in size from 4.64 ha to 4.8 ha, with the final footprint covering more than 18.8 ha of the 58.9 ha site.
The land on the proposed site will need to be cleared and some native vegetation removed, how- ever, a condition of the permit will require a landscape plan to be submitted.
Benalla is going through somewhat of a jobs boom with this facility coming at a time that a new pre-cast concrete factory and aged-care facility are under construction.
Councillor Peter Davis chaired the planning and development committee meeting and said it was a credit to Benalla that so many businesses were looking to come into the city.
‘‘This is fantastic for Benalla,’’ Cr Davis said.
Facility site: The hydroponic fruit and veg facility will be built on vacant land at the corner of the Midland Hwy and Gardner Rd.
Great news: Benalla will soon have its own hydroponic fruit and vegetable farm similar to the one pictured.