Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today announced $500,000 in funding to support a major expansion of production operations at Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm.
Speaking in Lockwood, Mr Ryan said the funding would go towards the completion of the company’s $39 million stage 1 primary processing plant development and the commencement of stage 2 works to expand the Lockwood production plant.
“This multi-million-dollar expansion program is expected to create up to 115 direct new jobs at Hazeldene’s by 2014 and a further 689 indirect jobs in the region,” Mr Ryan said.
“The growth of Hazeldene’s is also expected to have a massive flow on economic benefit for the City of Greater Bendigo, creating an indirect demand for additional goods and services worth $113 million.”
Mr Ryan said it was pleasing to see progress at the Lockwood processing and production plants following challenges and delays caused by major flooding in the region last year.
“Flooding at Hazeldene’s Broiler Farm at Prairie in January 2011 caused approximately $3 million in damages, including the death of 300,000 birds,” Mr Ryan said.
“The company has now re-established the Prairie Broiler Farm and is ready to continue on with its expansion plans, which is great news for the region.”
Mr Ryan said the $500,000 in funding from the Victorian Coalition Government towards the expansion program was from the $10 million Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund.
“Flooding across Victoria last year was among the worst in the State’s history, striking hundreds of communities, ruining homes and businesses, and destroying valuable livestock,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund was established to drive investment and jobs growth in flood-affected regional areas.
“The expansion of Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm is a great example of how governments can support private sector investment to create widespread benefits in regional and rural areas.”
Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541