Greener future on the way for Scenic Rim agriculture

Published Thursday, 09 May, 2024 at 03:35 PM

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

  • 10-year project set to transform Scenic Rim
  • $291 million will be invested to create a future innovation zone
  • Plan will deliver 641 direct jobs over the 10-year period and an additional 475 direct jobs annually during operation

One of Australia’s most productive agricultural areas is set to be home to a new food manufacturing and distribution hub. 

The Scenic Rim Agricultural Industrial Precinct (SRAIP) is now a step closer after the Coordinator-General recommended it proceed, subject to conditions.

Expanding the operations of Queensland-owned vegetable farming and marketing company Kalfresh, the precinct would unlock new market opportunities for local farmers and create new employment opportunities in the Scenic Rim local government area.

Circular economy aspects of the project include the redirection of waste from landfill to create electricity and fertiliser and the reuse of treated industrial wastewater for industrial and agricultural purposes.

Kalfresh anticipate the facility would generate the project’s full power needs, with residual power fed back into the local electricity grid.

Representing an investment of $291 million, the precinct will create 641 direct jobs over the 10-year construction period and an additional 475 direct jobs annually during operation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace:

“The Miles Government continues to support projects that deliver renewable energy outcomes, environmentally sustainable solutions and create new jobs.

“This is an ambitious project that aims to create an integrated agri-industrial hub in the Scenic Rim region of Queensland and benefit local farmers.

“The project is expected to create direct economic and supply chain contributions, unlocking new market opportunities for local farmers, and creating new employment opportunities.

“A unique feature of the project is the inclusion of a facility which converts organic agricultural waste into renewable energy.

“The proposed facility would also provide a new source of fertiliser for the local farming community to use in crop production adding value to what would normally end up as waste.” 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner:

“This is a visionary initiative that combines food manufacturing, bioenergy production, and sustainable practices. It promises economic growth, job opportunities, and a greener future for Queensland agriculture.

“The initial stages of the development involve the construction of two vegetable processing facilities, the anaerobic digestion facility, roads and utility installation and connections. Following this, a composting facility would be developed producing up to 50,000 tonnes per annum of compost.

“During operations, the project’s significant food manufacturing capacity is anticipated to benefit local farmers and businesses by enhancing supply chain benefits and ensuring consistent, reliable market demand.

“Once fully developed, there is an estimated contribution of over $140 million to the Scenic Rim economy per year in gross value added.”

Quotes attributable to Scenic Rim Mayor Cr Tom Sharp:

“Food waste is an enormous environmental and economic issue that demands urgent solutions. Each year, an astonishing 1 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally—enough to feed 1.2 billion people.

"All that wasted food is responsible for a staggering eight per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

"As the world grapples with these mounting challenges of food waste and the need for sustainable energy sources, innovative solutions are emerging and right here in the Scenic Rim we are doing our bit as global citizens.

"The people of this region should feel exceptionally proud of the dedication and accomplishments of The Kalfresh Group, Scenic Rim Regional Council officers and the Queensland Coordinator-General's Office in bringing this exciting and valuable project a step closer with the Queensland Government's approval for this vital project to proceed."

Quotes attributable to Kalfresh CEO Richard Gorman:

“What we are proposing for the Scenic Rim Agricultural Industrial Precinct (SRAIP) includes many firsts, in particular establishing a renewable energy facility that will convert food and agricultural waste into green power, green gas and a bio-fertiliser.

“The Precinct will provide a home for food and beverage value-adding businesses in the farming region, which means they’re more efficient and able to compete with foreign imports.

“Co-locating farming and manufacturing creates diversified markets, increases opportunity for farmers, delivers fresher and faster produce to market, and creates skilled, long-term jobs in the region.

“This diversification includes farmers entering the green energy industry, to produce a new renewable natural gas from food waste and plants to fuel trucks and buses and power industrial manufacturing.

“Our energy model is real and reliable, and we know it works because it’s already fuelling heavy vehicles and powering industry in Europe, the UK and the US.

“Our community will 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.

“The Precinct, coupled with our energy model, will create opportunity and resilience for Queensland agriculture and will have a positive impact on our community and other rural regions.”


Media contact – Kim Sweetman – 0457 600 237