BREAKING: Construction of an innovative infant milk formula factory in Toowoomba is expected to start in the next few months.
The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project (TIMP), a joint venture between Au Lait Australia and Nature One Dairy, will be built at the 550-hectare Wellcamp Business Park.
The two companies have joined forces to form Nature One Dairy Toowoomba, which will own and operate the multi-million-dollar facility.
Au Lait Australia spokesman Steve Laracy said it was an exciting and ambitious project that would be built in two stages and also incorporate a nearby dairy farm.
"The first stage is the $35 million infant formula manufacturing facility with a capacity of 30 million tins a year, which will start production from about April next year.
"This will be followed by ongoing development of the TIMP designed to produce not only infant formula but UHT milk, fresh milk, milk powder and other products for domestic and international markets," said Mr Laracy.
He said development plans and approvals for the balance of the milk factory would be finalised later this year.
"The long-term plan is to establish an American-style freestall dairy barn, which would provide about half of the milk supply to Nature One Toowoomba. A feasibility study on the detail of the farm will be finished in early 2017," said Mr Laracy.
Nature One Dairy CEO Mr Nick Dimopoulos said Nature One Dairy Toowoomba would further expand the international brand in China and the Asia-Pacific region using existing networks and supply agreements currently in negotiation.
He said Wellcamp Business Park was an ideal logistical location given its proximity to anchor tenant Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport and the Second Range Crossing.
Wellcamp Business Park spokesman and Wellcamp Airport developer, Mr John Wagner said he welcomed the facility at Australia's premier business park.
"This is another game changer for the Toowoomba region and once stage two is underway, it will create well in excess of 1000 jobs across the state and further establish Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport as a specialist hub for air and road freight.
"It is extremely important the State Government works with us to get direct access to the second range crossing from Wellcamp Airport and the Wellcamp Business Park so more world-class industries are attracted to Queensland," said Mr Wagner.
Mayor Paul Antonio said he was delighted that a project of this nature had been proposed for the Toowoomba region.
"This initiative would further grow our strong industrial base, create jobs and showcase the opportunities that exist for agriculture, and particularly the dairy industry, as a result of our enhanced connectivity to the rest of the world.
"The project still needs to meet relevant planning and environmental requirements but a proposal like this signals a very exciting time for our region," Cr Antonio said.
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