Quail set for Asia’s fine ta­bles

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL - Emma Clarke emma.clarke@qt.com.au

A TINY bird is about to put the re­gion’s pro­duce on the map.

Quail are des­tined for plates in the finest restau­rants in Asia, in­clud­ing the Lang­ham in Hong Kong and the Grand Hy­att in Sin­ga­pore, but back home in Coominya, busi­ness­man Dun­can Brown has plenty of work to do be­fore the birds set off on their jour­ney.

He is one of the forces be­hind Brisbane Val­ley Pro­tein Precinct, a mas­ter planned farm busi­ness spread­ing across 2500 acres that holds neigh­bours and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors in the same re­gard. A com­mu­nity gar­den is al­ready keep­ing lo­cal peo­ple en­gaged but plans are in place to have Brisbane Val­ley pro­duce on the plates of the world’s culi­nary elite.

Stage one, in­clud­ing a quail farm, is ex­pected to start ex­port­ing from Sep­tem­ber but there are an­other three stages and close to 10 years of de­vel­op­ment to come.

Stage two, with a ten­ta­tive dead­line of 2020, in­cludes a road house, mar­ket gar­den, reveg­e­ta­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and visi­tor cab­ins while fur­ther down the line plans in­clude a ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity and more tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion. Two poul­try farms, a quail farm and a game bird pro­cess­ing plant are all part of the grand vi­sion.

“I never ex­pected to be ex­cited about chicken farm­ing but I am quite ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­ity of pro­duc­ing so much pro­tein so ef­fi­ciently on such a small area of land,” Mr Brown said.

“Given the global de­mand for pro­tein is tipped to in­crease 30 per cent over the next 20 years and the min­ing boom at that time seemed to be wan­ing, it was the way to go.

“It seemed a shame that this at­trac­tive land was not that pro­duc­tive. If we can be grow­ing pro­tein like quail or beef ef­fi­ciently here, set­ting up the in­fra­struc­ture and ex­port­ing to the world, then that’s se­cur­ing some­thing spe­cial for the area.”

He said ap­pli­ca­tions were in the process to clas­sify the land as a food pro­duc­tion area, which would al­low in­vestors con­fi­dence the mas­ter­plan had pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval.

A long-term fo­cus of the precinct will in­clude a ter­tiary educ­tion fa­cil­ity fo­cused on food work­ing di­rectly along­side a quail farm and ex­port­ing fa­cil­ity.

Mr Brown said the aim was to in­clude young peo­ple in the vi­sion.

I never ex­pected to be ex­cited about chicken farm­ing.

— Dun­can Brown

PHOTO: ROB WIL­LIAMS

BIG AM­BI­TIONS: Brisbane Val­ley Pro­tein co-di­rec­tor Dun­can Brown holds a quail.

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