A $280 million meat processing and distribution facility in south-east Queensland is set to nab a choice cut of the local jobs market.
Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Hilton Foods Australia’s (HFA) Heathwood processing facility has created more than 650 new jobs, with more on the cards when it ramps up to full production next year.
“This is one of the most innovative facilities of its kind in the world and a real showpiece of advanced food manufacturing in Queensland Mr Dick said.
“Workers will operate robotics and man 23 state-of-the-art production lines to provide packaged meat and vegan products to Woolworths supermarkets locally and interstate.
“Brisbane’s central location, excellent transport network and Queensland’s highly trained workforce were all factors in HFA’s decision to bring their operations to Heathwood.
“Our government is pleased to have worked with HFA to help facilitate the move, and we welcome the jobs that have come with it.”
Minister for Environment and Member for Algester Leeanne Enoch said it was great that HFA was coming to Heathwood.
“It will boast the second largest rooftop photovoltaic solar installation in Australia, consisting of 6000 solar panels,” Ms Enoch said.
“This facility is not only setting new sustainable building standards but is bringing jobs to our region with potential for more, which is fantastic.”
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the benefits of such a large local workforce would be felt across the region.
“The majority of workers here live locally, so they will shop local and support great local businesses along the supply chain,” Ms Mullen said.
“This is another great manufacturing facility in Queensland that will help strengthen the sector and shore up our state’s economic future.”
Hilton Foods Australia CEO Pat McEntee said the opening was a big milestone.
“We are proud to be joining the local community in Heathwood and contributing to economic growth with new employment opportunities and service contracts,” Mr McEntee said.
“We value our partnership with Woolworths and look forward to assisting in developing a faster and fresher supply of high-quality meat and value-added products.
“We also wish to acknowledge and thank both Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government for their support in commissioning our Heathwood site.”
Woolworths Director of Fresh Food Paul Harker said Hilton Foods Australia is a valued supply partner to Woolworths, processing high-quality fresh meat for customers across Australia.
“It’s really pleasing to see our long-term supply relationship with Hilton Foods Australia underpin this important new investment and job creation in Queensland,” Mr Harker said.
“We’re fortunate to source our fresh meat from the best Australian producers, and it’s important we uphold the quality of their product from paddock to plate.
“The opening of this state-of-the-art facility in Heathwood will help us deliver a consistently great fresh meat offer.
“It will also improve stock availability for our Queensland customers each and every day.”
HFA’s solar installation at the facility will generate 2800MWh per annum, providing about 50 per cent of the site’s total energy use.
Heat will also be harnessed from the facility’s refrigeration compressors, with an automated heat recovery system that will see 100,000L of water heated per day, saving 170MWh of energy a year.