Australian start up Nectar Farms will receive a grant from the Labor Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund to develop a large-scale, high-tech hydroponic glasshouse facility.
The facility will be established at Stawell, Victoria, in close proximity to Melbourne, significantly reducing food miles and transportation costs.
The move is expected to provide job opportunities for affected workers from the closed Stawell Gold Mine.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaala Pulford said the investment will create a brand new industry sector in the region, using the latest in hydroponic glasshouse and plant technology to increase yields and provide a reliable supply of vegetables into domestic and international markets.
“This is fantastic news for Stawell and by bringing a new, hi-tech food industry to the region, it marks an exciting and important step in supporting the local community,” the Minister said.
“We’re thinking of the 150 retrenched workers in Stawell and working hard to facilitate new local job opportunities.”
Minister for Industry, Employment and Resources Wade Noonan said this opportunity has been enabled by the early ‘post mining’ site planning of the Northern Grampians Council and the generous provision of land and planning from Kirkland Gold.
“Emerging industries help create a more resilient jobs market, keeping jobs in local areas and giving families security,” Mr Noonan added.