Airport to house state of the art foodie precinct

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien with ‘Turbine’ Director Emma Greenhatch at the announcement of the food and beverage facility which will be located at the Sunshine Coast Airport. Photo: Contributed

A WORLD-FIRST manufacturing facility, which will transform the Sunshine Coast’s food and beverage sector, will be operational by late 2023 following a $33.4 million announcement by the Federal Government last week.

The $112.8 million ‘Turbine Precinct’ will be a huge 20,000 m2 purpose-built, collaborative food and beverage manufacturing centre located at the Sunshine Coast Airport.

The precinct will be home to local food and beverage companies that will be able to utilise shared warehousing and logistics, an education and training centre, advanced research and development capabilities as well as a collaborative high-tech manufacturing facility.

The state-of-the-art facility will house end-to-end support for local food and beverage businesses and will include a unique common-use infrastructure model.

Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien said the Federal Government funding boost will not only enable the project to get off the ground but would become a catalyst for further industry investment.

“This massive investment will transform the local food and beverage sector and will create a stronger future for the Sunshine Coast – built on a stronger economy,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This end-to-end collaborative food and beverage precinct is a world-first, and it will provide lucrative opportunities for businesses at all stages and all sizes to build, scale and export, all under one roof.”

A component of the project’s value proposition that has already attracted major private investment is the precinct’s unique location at the Sunshine Coast Airport which will leverage new export opportunities arising from the expanded international runway.

Mr O’Brien further stated that the project would create lifelong careers for local people.

“The Turbine Precinct will reinvent how business is done on the Sunshine Coast for the food and beverage sector but will also create limitless opportunities for local producers and services to plug in and leverage across the economy.”

By teaming up with the University of the Sunshine Coast, the precinct’s first-of-its-kind embedded training centre will also help the next generation take the next step to their future roles in areas such as food science, transport and logistics, and hospitality.

It’s expected the project will see 131 new jobs during construction and support 687 once operational with $200 million in economic benefits delivered for the Australian economy each year.

Key stakeholders in the project include – the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), the Queensland Drinks Accelerator, the Sunshine Coast Airport, University of the Sunshine Coast and TAFE Queensland.

CEO of FAN and Turbine Director Emma Greenhatch said the Federal Government’s investment would immediately unlock over $58 million in private investment to develop stage one of the project.

“The Australian Government’s investment in this catalytic project will enable us to create a new, smarter way of supporting our industries into the future – through sharing infrastructure and critical services that will promote collaboration and in turn drive new innovation,” Ms Greenhatch said.

“In addition to enabling co-located manufacturers to scale faster by significantly reducing establishment and operating costs, Turbine will provide a streamlined pathway to commercialisation for other food and beverage businesses from across Queensland and beyond, from start-ups through to export.”

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