Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood today announced that the Victorian Coalition Government would provide $460,000 towards a major expansion at Flavorite Hydroponic Tomatoes.
Mr Blackwood said the funding would contribute to a $30 million expansion at Flavorite Hydroponic Tomatoes that was expected to also create 130 new jobs.
Representing Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, Mr Blackwood said the funding would help Flavorite invest in infrastructure that would deliver a secure water supply.
“Flavorite is a certified hydroponic food producer, growing large truss tomatoes, small cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums at its farm in Warragul,” Mr Blackwood said.
“To achieve its plan to increase the size of its glasshouse operations from 14 hectares to 30 hectares by mid-2016, Flavorite requires a larger and more secure water supply.
“The Coalition Government’s funding will help Flavorite invest in water infrastructure, allowing the company to harvest rainwater and reuse its irrigation drainage water in fit-for-purpose applications after suitable treatment.”
Mr Blackwood said the $996,000 Flavorite Water Efficiency Project included construction of a 50 megalitre lined and covered dam, installation of water filtration and water sterilization equipment, extra water storage capacity and ancillary works.
“Once completed this will improve the security of Flavorite’s water supply, reduce its overall consumption of and reliance on ground water and town water supply, reduce production costs and enable it to undertake its planned expansion program,” Mr Blackwood said.
“The project will provide the capacity for Flavorite to annually harvest up to 61 megalitres of rainwater for use in its fogging operations, which will reduce Flavorite’s annual consumption of town water by 18 megalitres (or 64 per cent).
“The company will also reduce its annual consumption of ground water by 103 megalitres (or 50 per cent), and its annual consumption of fertiliser by 160 tonnes (35 per cent).”
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government was pleased to support innovative initiatives that helped create jobs and growth in regional and rural Victoria.
“Funding for the Flavorite Water Efficiency Project would be provided to Flavorite Hydroponic Tomatoes Pty Ltd through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Ryan said.
The project works were scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.