JOBS: $35 million factory wins council approval

An artist's impression of the Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project.
An artist's impression of the Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project.

A $35 million factory planned for Toowoomba has been approved by council, paving the way for construction work to begin.

The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project is a joint venture between Au Lait Australia and Nature One Dairy.

It's expected the project will create hundreds of jobs throughout the region.

The plant will be constructed on land on International Dr, in the Wellcamp Business Park and directly across from Wellcamp airport.

The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project will be built in the Wellcamp Business Park.
The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project will be built in the Wellcamp Business Park.

Managing director Steve Laracy said construction work could start as soon as February next year.

The first stage, approved by Toowoomba Regional Council yesterday, is for a $35 million infant formula manufacturing facility with a capacity of 30 million tins a year

The second stage will process ultra-high-temperature milk, fresh milk, milk powder and other products for domestic and international markets.

Mr Laracy said a funding process for the second stage could be completed within the next several weeks.

Once that is complete a further development application will be lodged with council early next year.

The company will also be seeking to establish a dairy farm in Texas to supply the factory.

The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project.
The Toowoomba Integrated Milk Project.

Mr Laracy said the company was not seeking to import milk from Victoria, but rather source its milk locally.

He said there would be 100 direct employees at the factory and more at the dairy, slated as a barn-style farm rather than open pasture.

The director said China was an obvious market, particularly for the infant formula, but he's also targeting south-east Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.

Inquiries have been made from as far afield as the Middle East and Panama.

Mr Laracy, who just returned from the AccessChina'16 delegation to Shanghai, said Australia was seen a "safe food haven".

"The clean, green factor is very real," he said.

Topics:  toowoomba wellcamp wellcamp business park

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