Major food precinct tipped to create 200 full-time jobs
A NEW community garden has been unveiled as part of what will become a major food hub just outside of Ipswich.
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 this week saying the edible garden was "a taste of things to come".
"Initially, neighbours of the project from West Road will have access to the garden as the project enters this first stage.
"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," Mrs Frecklington said.
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 this 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.
"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. Brisbane Valley Protein is waiting on final approvals but has already secured investment from Safika Holdings.