The beginning of construction of the John Dee Regional Cold Store was officially heralded today with a sod-turning ceremony at the facility in Warwick. The project is set to upgrade the existing abattoir to develop a valuable regional asset and will be completed in late 2019.
John Dee engaged Brisbane based international project delivery company, Wiley to complete the design and delivery for the Regional Cold Store and ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval System) facility solution. The facility is set to enable John Dee to reduce operational costs, expand storage capacity, increase product sorting capabilities and secure the future of the local, family-owned business.
Maranoa MP the Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC), Cr Tracy Dobie joined with the John Dee leadership team and Wiley representatives at the site as work gets underway.
The Regional Cold Store and ASRS will be delivered with minimal impact to production in an operating plant, something Wiley has a extensive experience in. The facility solution will be fit for the purposes of storage, sortation and retrieval.
The objectives of the project are to increase flexibility in picking product for orders and handle a high number of product variants with a focus on operational workplace health and safety.
Wiley representatives were on hand as the appointed design-build partners to celebrate and congratulate SDRC and John Dee on the project milestone. Wiley’s Chief Operating Officer, Robert Barron said “We are really excited for SDRC, John Dee and the community for this project to begin. Not only does the project boost the economy with local jobs during construction, by an estimated 80 people, but also provides a valuable asset to the future of the business. We’re looking forward to bringing together local subcontractors and suppliers to assist in delivering the facility upgrade.”
The Regional cold store was bought to life by funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.
Mr Littleproud said, “This expansion will not only protect the 630 existing jobs, it creates 143 new full-time jobs and 138 indirect new full-time jobs.” Mr Littleproud continued, “Securing $4.8 million for this facility will help bolster employment opportunities in our region. Export opportunities from this development will come to about $111 million.”
“Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said, “John Dee is one of the region’s largest employers and its expansion shows great confidence in the future of the local livestock industry. This is a positive step forward as the Southern Downs continues to grow and prosper.”
Four generations of experience in the beef industry means John Dee is a trusted name in cattle husbandry, feed lotting and grain feed development. John Dee is a modern, internationally recognised brand that is shaping the next generation of global beef supply and the investment in this facility will enable the business to continue to support the local community well into the future.