Farm jobs boost

Fa­cil­ity to of­fer up to 200 po­si­tions

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

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.

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