In about six months Queensland's Capricorn coast will be home to a new $11.6 million pineapple processing plant. Hidden Valley Harvest will develop the plant at Yeppoon, just outside Rockhampton, in a venture jointly funded by the Federal Government, which is tipping in $5,808,000.
Ground was broken at the site earlier on December 10; the plant is expected to be operational by June, 2020. According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, the 2000sq m plant will feature the latest technology. More importantly, he said the plant would be an incubator for economic growth.
"In addition to utilising new food processing technologies to create high quality, highly nutritious value added products, this investment will also produce long-term economic benefits to the region through boosting the skills and knowledge of regional people in the use of leading edge food technology," McCormack said.
"By supporting 46 jobs in construction and creating an expected 26 ongoing jobs after completion, in addition to using local businesses and producers, this project will help bring economic prosperity to Yeppoon for many years to come."
The LNP Member for Capricorn, Michelle Landry said the plant had the potential to open new markets because it would meet "consumer demands locally and internationally for high quality processed fruit products". She said it was likely to draw new customers to the Queensland pineapple and tropical fruit industries.