Kalfresh CEO Richard Gorman (right) says the Scenic Rim Agricultural Industrial Precinct, coupled with its on-site Bioenergy Facility, will have far-reaching positive impacts on the economy and the environment, and deliver more than 1000 new skilled, secure jobs. 

“I can say with confidence that the plan that has been adopted will provide a bright and exciting future for agriculture in our region,” says Mr Gorman.

“Our community is on track to be the first in Queensland to be connected to baseload green energy 24/7, that’s generated from food waste and crops grown in local paddocks.

“While this project has been imagined and driven by Kalfresh it is much bigger than us. It’s about future-proofing agriculture in south-east Queensland by returning manufacturing to the region and creating new diversified products and markets for the crops we grow, including renewable energy,” he says.

The Precinct will be established on a 40ha site neighbouring Kalfresh’s existing operation on the Cunningham Highway near Kalbar. A centrepiece will be a 10MW Bioenergy Facility – an Australian first – that will use anaerobic digestion to co-digest multiple feedstocks, including agricultural and food waste, to create green electricity for the grid, biofertiliser and a renewable compressed natural gas that can fuel trucks, buses and industry.

Next Steps & New Jobs

Now that the State Government has given the green light to the project, Kalfresh can lodge its detailed subdivision and operational works plans with the Scenic Rim Regional Council.

The Precinct will deliver a new and safer access to the Cunningham Highway and will create up to 641 FTE jobs during construction and up to 475 FTE long-term operational jobs.

Businesses which want to establish in the Precinct will be assessed by Council under the new SRAIP Development Plan, which will simplify the approvals process. The SRAIP Development Plan establishes a regionally significant specialised agri-focused precinct for food, beverage and fibre manufacturing.

Kalfresh will be the Precinct’s first tenant with plans to construct new dedicated processing facilities for onions, certified organic vegetables, and value-add and snacking vegetables.

Kalfresh Founding Director, Rob Hinrichsen (pictured left), says diversification will create opportunity and resilience locally.

“We’re building on the best part of the area which is agriculture and growing good food,” he says.

“New businesses establishing in the Precinct will lead to new secure, skilled job opportunities. Suddenly you’ll have higher skilled people coming here to work, or maybe getting skilled and staying in the area. That’s rural development at its core.”