A NEW chicken hatchery worth almost $40 million earmarked for the Kidman Way will propel Griffith into pole position for poultry production in Australia.
Baiada Poultry has submitted a $38 million development application to council for a 20,000 square metre chicken hatchery capable of hatching three million chicks every week.
Once established, the site will account for 70 per cent of hatchery operations in the country, according to council planning and compliance coordinator Kelly McNicol.
The new building will be constructed beside the existing hatchery and Baiada hopes it will be completed by 2016.
Mr McNicol said the existing hatchery would be kept for emergency purposes.
“Odour and noise will have a very low impact as the chicks are only kept at the site for a couple of hours once they hatch,” Mr McNicol said.
“Baiada had plans to expand the hatchery but they wanted a state-of-the-art building that will meet industry standards and this was the best way to go.”
The new site will employ an additional 60 people and falls under Baiada’s existing growth strategy.
Managing director Simon Camilleri said the overall plan was announced about three years ago and the hatchery was one component of that.
“It’s all part of planning for future growth,” Mr Camilleri said.
“We expect it will take about 18 months to build.”
The announcement is a boost for council, which came under fire last year for blocking development through the Section 94a requirement.
The business community demanded council abolish the 1 per cent levy to encourage developers to invest in the region.
Instead, council developed a raft of options to negotiate with developers, rather than demand an upfront payment.
Mr McNicol said Baiada would be able to negotiate the terms of the investment.
Paul Pierotti from Griffith Business Chamber said the new hatchery was excellent news for Griffith.
“It’s good to see council finally becoming more proactive and pro-development,” Mr Pierotti said.