First step in pro­tein project

Gatton Star - - LIFE - He­len Speli­tis he­len.speli­tis@qt.com.au

A NEW com­mu­nity gar­den has been un­veiled as part of what will be­come a ma­jor food hub in the Som­er­set re­gion.

It’s the first ma­jor mile­stone for the fam­ily be­hind the pro­posed Bris­bane Val­ley Pro­tein Precinct, tipped to cre­ate 200 full-time jobs at Coominya.

The Bris­bane Val­ley Pro­tein project is an am­bi­tious plan to trans­form an 1100-hectare cat­tle prop­erty into a poul­try and game bird pro­duc­tion hub in­clud­ing tourism and ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties.

The plans in­clude poul­try and game bird pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties, poul­try and cat­tle farms, func­tion cen­tre and restau­rant, vis­i­tor cab­ins and camp­grounds.

Stage one has al­ready been ap­proved but while own­ers Dun­can Brown and Se­lena Gom­er­sall wait, they’ve gone ahead with the first step; open­ing a com­mu­nity gar­den.

The gar­den site will even­tu­ally cover two hectares.

Neigh­bour­ing Nanango MP Deb Freck­ling­ton of­fi­cially opened the gar­den last week, say­ing the ed­i­ble gar­den was “a taste of things to come”.

“Ini­tially, neigh­bours of the project from West Rd will have ac­cess to the gar­den as the project en­ters this first stage,” Mrs Freck­ling­ton said.

“Not only will they be able to grow their own won­der­ful fresh pro­duce, but it will be a so­cial hub, help­ing peo­ple to con­nect and en­joy the many ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal and so­cial ac­tiv­ity.”

A so­cial hub and sense of shared own­er­ship is ex­actly what owner Se­lena Gom­er­sall hopes to cre­ate through the com­mu­nity gar­den project.

She said the open­ing event cre­ated a sense the project was much big­ger than one fam­ily busi­ness; it was about bring­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether while pro­vid­ing food and em­ploy­ment.

“For both of us, the heart of the vi­sion is about com­mu­nity, our com­mu­nity. This is the be­gin­ning of a project that we want to cre­ate for ev­ery­one in the Bris­bane Val­ley,” she said.

“We want peo­ple to come and plant what­ever they want.

“For us, this is an ex­ten­sion of their gar­den and we want peo­ple to grow with the project.”

At first, the gar­den has only been opened to the neigh­bours but in time the wider com­mu­nity will also be in­vited in.

Lo­cal schools have also al­ready been in­vited to use the gar­den.

❝ For us, this is an ex­ten­sion of their gar­den and we want peo­ple to grow with the project.

— Se­lena Gom­er­sall

PHOTO: FRAN­CIS WIT­SEN­HUY­SEN

FRESH FOOD: (from left) Som­er­set Mayor Graeme Lehmann, Nanango MP Deb Freck­ling­ton, neigh­bour Beth An­der­son and Bris­bane Val­ley Pro­tein Direc­tor Se­lena Gom­m­er­sall.

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