Gympie primary producer resurrects major expansion plan
A Gympie macadamia business has resurrected years-old plans as part of a push to put the region back on the nut map.
Gympie Farm Services has lodged an application for a new nut handling facility at East Deep Creek, a development it said would put the region back at the forefront of an industry it had helped make thrive.
“Although Gympie region was an early champion of expanding the macadamia industry in Australia it has been left behind by other regions,” the company said in its application to the council.
“We believe that the region has the potential to grow and this facility will encourage this.”
The company is owned by Benworth Pty Ltd, which bought the block in October 2016.
A February 2021 letter from Gympie Farm Services’ Peter Zummo to the council as part of the application said the nut facility was planned when the land was bought but “unfortunately, council had advised that it was not in a position to support the required development application necessary to establish our nut handling facility because of council‘s planning scheme”.
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Mr Zummo said he was advised in June last year pending changes to the Town Plan would now support the development application; those changes have reportedly not been made yet.
If approved the new facility would fill a major gap in its production line, which includes existing nut curing and packaging factories on Edwin Campion Dr at Monkland, and bring a key part of the process to Gympie.
“Presently, most harvested macadamia nuts are being de-husked in facilities in Bundaberg and New South Wales,” Mr Zummo said in the application.
“There is basic dehusking facilities on local farms.
“Once our facility is operational, the nuts in their shells and husks will be collected by road transport vehicles from farms and delivered to this site for dehusking and sorting. “
The existing building on the site will be demolished and replaced by a single storey, 10m high manufacturing shed.