HOPE is far from lost for the Mary Valley and its future as the site of Australia's largest integrated dairy and milk processing facility.
A spokesman for State Development and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham yesterday said the Queensland Government was continuing to work with Hope Dairies Pty Ltd to develop the history-making export dairy product operation.
Dr Lynham's office was responding to questions from The Gympie Times about rumours in the South Burnett area, also thought to include a site for the project, which is closely associated with major investor Gina Rinehart.
One of the rumours was that the project's powdered milk manufacturing plant, earmarked for construction near Gympie, would now instead be constructed in the South Burnett region.
Other rumours involved the sale of the 800ha site set aside for the project on State Government land fronting the Mary Valley Link Rd and the Bruce Hwy, land originally purchased for the Traveston Crossing dam proposal.
Dr Lynham's office said discussions were currently under way about bringing together the 19,000-head cow herd for the project.
And it was still on schedule to begin operations in late 2016.
"As the project's requirements have been progressively refined, Hope now requires 155ha of an initial 800ha reserved in the Mary Valley in late 2014," the spokesman said.
"The company has indicated that this Mary Valley land is for processing and associated infrastructure.
"The government also holds an allocation of 650 megalitres of water for the processing plant.
"The Coordinator-General released the surplus lots to the open market on June 3, 2015. Expressions of interest closed yesterday and 40 had been received, he said.