News

Land of milk and money: magnate invests in region

FULL STEAM AHEAD: Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and mining magnate Gina Rinehart sign the Memorandum of Understanding which commits both parties to fully pursue the $500 million Mary Valley processing plant and South Burnett dairy farm. Contributed.
FULL STEAM AHEAD: Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and mining magnate Gina Rinehart sign the Memorandum of Understanding which commits both parties to fully pursue the $500 million Mary Valley processing plant and South Burnett dairy farm. Contributed.

HOPE Dairies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Queensland Government on Saturday - committing both sides to pursue the creation of a $500,000 baby milk powder processing plant near Gympie and a 16,000-head dairy farm in the South Burnett.

A spokesman for Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, Jason Morrison, said yesterday the "deal" was the culmination of a year's work.

"In a nutshell we have been talking to experts in the dairy industry and people who understand the area and its potential and some of its problems," Mr Morrison said.

"We think we have come up with a business plan that will allow us to make a premium product that will be accepted into China and, with our Chinese partner, will be a success."

Hope Dairies plans to process 150 million litres of milk each year from 2016, securing "a significant portion" of its milk from "local producers in the vicinity of its operations" to supplement its own supply.

Exports are planned to start in late 2016.

The construction phase of the processing plant at the Mary Valley Link Rd interchange with the Bruce Hwy will create about 350 jobs, and ongoing operations across the entire project will generate almost 500 more full-time jobs, Mr Morrison said.

Hope Dairies is majority Australian-owned by Mrs Rinehart with minority investment from China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd, a Chinese central government state-owned enterprise, Dave Garcia and Dano Chan.

Following the signing of the MOU on Saturday Mrs Rinehart said Australia had some of the finest agricultural products in the world and "we need to position ourselves to meet the demands of our region".

"Hope Dairies is majority Australian-owned and will produce a premium product that will be among the highest quality in the world from one of our country's finest dairy regions," she said.

"This is a significant and welcomed boost for the Queensland dairy industry and the investment will bring substantial employment and dairy processing capacity back to the state.

"Premier Campbell Newman and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and their government have been very supportive with our planning and helped make sure that this project happened in Queensland.

"Hancock Prospecting is a wholly Australian-owned company that exports and invests substantially in this country and is pro Australia.

"We've had long-term involvement in the pastoral and farming industry from both my parents' families which I've continued, despite knowing this is a difficult industry in Australia, given high costs and government burdens.

"We love country people, always have, and hope our further participation can be of some regional assistance."

Mr Morrison said Australia's reputation and the Queensland dairy reputation was "incredible".

"And so we have this premium product, we have an avenue to get it there, we're going to do the complete value adding in Australia," he said. "It's processing, it's canning, it's exporting, right down to the marketing of it, so it's a real integrated program and strategy."

Mr Morrison confirmed the company had steadily bought suitable dairy farm land over the past 12 months but would not confirm exact numbers or locations in the South Burnett as some deals are yet to settle.

Gympie Times

Topics:  china, dairy, gina rinehart, gympie, milk



Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

QPWS exploring options to remove brumbies from Fraser Island

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is exploring options to remove the brumbies from Fraser Island.

QPWS is exploring options to remove brumbies from Fraser Island.

Volunteering in Cambodia so rewarding

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: Peter and Ros Raynes in Cambodia with students at the school they established.

Volunteering a worthwhile experience for Ros and Peter Raynes

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

How the Gruen guy's t-shirts took on a life of their own

Documentary filmmaker and Gruen panellist Todd Sampson.

What started out as simple workwear has become a trademark

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state