John Dee Expansion to bring 150 new jobs
John Dee and Southern Downs Regional Council have been successful in a rare joint application between local government and the private sector for $4.97 million in Federal funding towards a $15 million project, which will bring 150 new jobs to the Southern Downs region.
The Federal Member for Maranoa, Mr David Littleproud MP today announced that the Federal Government had approved the John Dee and Council joint application to the Building Better Regions Fund for the redevelopment of the John Dee facility in Warwick, including the expansion of the water main.
The joint application is seen as an innovative approach to seeking funding for industry growth and job creation projects.
The redevelopment will entail the set-up of a new packaging area and cold stores, logistics and freight expansion, and will free up more space in the production area. Crucially, it will provide for 150 new jobs across the entire business at John Dee including information technology, freight and logistics, and processing.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed today’s funding announcement by Mr Littleproud.
"From Council’s point of view, this $15 million project, to which the Federal Government has today committed $4.97 million, is an enormous boon for our region.
“150 new jobs are expected to come out of this redevelopment, along with the creation of a state of the art facility. Council's Economic Impact model suggests that the 150 new jobs will generate an additional 187 jobs in the wider economy, which is why projects of this type are important in regional towns like Warwick.
“It goes to the heart of what Council is striving for; more investment, more jobs, more visitors and more residents. Assisting existing businesses to expand and attracting new businesses to come into our area is a key function for Council's Economic Development Department.
“Council is really pleased to be involved in this joint application with John Dee and it just goes to show that by working together we can make a difference and we can work towards building a better region here in the Southern Downs,” she said.
Construction is likely to begin in September this year and the project is stage one of a larger investment that will occur.
Cr Dobie also highlighted that “Council hopes to announce other employment generating projects in the near future.”
The John Dee project augments the recent investment in the poultry industry with the Darwalla Group announcing a new $22 million chicken hatchery in Allora in addition to the significant investment by the Churches of Christ Care in the construction of the Regency Park Retirement Village, currently underway in Warwick.