A $67 million expansion of the Costa Group’s glasshouse tomato production at Guyra has been welcomed by Council as an exciting further step in realising the region’s potential as a horticultural hub.
The expansion, celebrated with a ceremonial turning of the first sod on Wednesday, will add another 10 hectares to the company’s existing 30-hectare operation, which is already the largest in the southern hemisphere.
“The Guyra district has been earmarked by a number of horticultural producers as a highly desirable location for glasshouse production, because of its cool climate, high number of sunny days and abundance of suitable land,” the Mayor of Armidale Regional Council, Simon Murray, said.
“Council has been part of a team effort to expand protected horticulture in the area, working with our local politicians and producers.”
Councillor Murray said that included Council’s project to construct a water pipeline from Malpas Dam, to provide water security for the Guyra township and local producers.
The NSW Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, announced in June the State Government would provide $12.38 million to the pipeline project.
Cr Murray said: “While harvesting of rain water and extensive water recycling have enabled the most recent glasshouse operations at Guyra to be almost entirely water self-sufficient, the pipeline will provide a secure supply during prolonged periods of dry weather.
“Costa’s expansion is a wonderful example of the horticultural activity expected to flow to the area once that certainly of water supply is in place.”
The project will double the size of Costa’s operation north of Guyra, complementing the company’s 20 hectares of glasshouses east of the township.
“The additional 150 jobs expected to be created by the expansion will be an incredible economic boost for the Guyra community and the wider region,” he said.
“The pipeline and protected horticultural production in the region are key components in Council’s economic development program. Costa’s expansion is evidence that focus is bringing dividends.”
Published on 07 Dec 2018