13 August 2015
Queensland Country Life
AUSTRALIAN businesswoman Gina Rinehart will not proceed with a proposed $500 million dairy project in Queensland, choosing instead to focus on beef.
Hope Dairies director David Garcia said in a letter sent to affected councils that the land bought by the company in the south Burnett would be used to develop a Wagyu cattle enterprise.
“Hope Dairies has progressed its analysis on the potential Queensland dairy project and has identified several material and challenging aspects and risks to the project,” Mr Garcia said.
“As a result of these realities, the Dairy Project will be put on hold.”
Hope Dairies has already acquired about 3000 hectares of land in region including dairy, beef and peanut properties west of Kingaroy and around Kumbia. It was hoped Hope Dairies would develop the major Mary Valley powdered milk project which would have required up to 10,000 head of dairy cattle.
It was expected that a baby formula manufacturing plant would be constructed near Gympie.
However, there was also a push to have the plant located closer to the farms, with the milk powder to be flown to export markets from the new Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba.
Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation president Brian Tessmann said the decision to place the dairy project on hold appeared to be driven by three factors: a milk oversupply in Europe, the downturn in the Chinese economy, and the overall strength of global beef markets.
“The Queensland dairy industry would certainly like to see the Hope Dairies project materialise in the future,” he said.
Courtesy of Queensland Country Life