Focus on water grows jobs

Article image - Focus on water grows jobs Turning the first sod at the expansion site, Mayor Simon Murray, MP Adam Marshall, Costa Tomato Category General Manager Michael Engeman and local parliamentarian Scot Macdonald.

Armidale Regional Council, New South Wales, has welcomed a $67 million expansion of Guyra glasshouse tomato producers, the Costa Group, as an exciting further step in realising the region’s potential as a horticultural hub.

The expansion will add another 10ha to the company’s existing 30ha operation, which is already the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Mayor, Simon Murray, said, “The Guyra district has been earmarked by a number of horticultural producers as a highly desirable location for glasshouse production, because of its cool climate, high number of sunny days and abundance of suitable land.

“Council has been part of a team effort to expand protected horticulture in the area, working with our local politicians and producers.”

Council’s support includes constructing a water pipeline from Malpas Dam, to provide water security for the Guyra township and local producers.

The Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, announced in June the State Government would contribute $12.38 million to the pipeline project.

“While harvesting of rain water and extensive water recycling have enabled the most recent glasshouse operations at Guyra to be almost entirely water self-sufficient, the pipeline will provide a secure supply during prolonged periods of dry weather,” the Mayor said.

“Costa’s expansion is a wonderful example of the horticultural activity expected to flow to the area once that certainty of water supply is in place.”

The project will double the size of Costa’s operation north of Guyra, complementing the company’s 20ha of glasshouses east of the township.

“The additional 150 jobs expected to be created by the expansion will be an incredible economic boost for the Guyra community and the wider region.

“The pipeline and protected horticultural production in the region are key components in Council’s economic development program.

“Costa’s expansion is evidence that focus is bringing dividends.”