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    Northern Grampians Shire Council mayor Tony Driscoll.

Building on big picture for Frew Foods expansion

Northern Grampians Shire Council says an expansion of Stawell’s Frew Foods International will inject millions of dollars and create hundreds of jobs in the region.

The Stawell abbatoir, the town’s largest employer with almost 500 staff, will add a further 250 employees to its workforce with a three-year expansion project.

The expansion would double the abbatoir’s lamb production and add a new cold-storage room, livestock traceability system to support potential disease outbreaks and additional management, labour, droving and maintenance roles.

The State Government announced cash support for the expansion earlier this month.

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Northern Grampians Shire mayor Tony Driscoll said the flow-on impacts of the investment were significant.

“Modelling we have conducted indicates that these new jobs will generate an estimated $29.5-million in direct value for our economy, with a further value-add of $50 million and potentially another 357 local jobs for our community,” he said.  

“Our Stawell Structure Plan, adopted in 2021, identifies housing as a critical need and states that: ‘The future supply of housing in Stawell should be made up of both greenfield and infill housing’ as well as considering ‘social and affordable housing, retirement and aged care, and worker accommodation’.

“The work we have done locally with Ararat Rural City Council and Pyrenees Shire Council on workforce planning as part of Opportunities Pyrenees, Ararat, Northern Grampians, OPAN, project also identifies housing as key to ensuring workforce gaps can be filled.

“Regionally, we are working hand-in-hand with the State Government, fellow councils and stakeholders such as the Wimmera Development Association to find solutions. 

“Several innovative recommendations are outlined in the WDA Housing Blueprint.”

Cr Driscoll said a number of housing developments were underway.  

“Within the Stawell township, significant infrastructure has been put in place to facilitate housing development such as the $1-million Sloane Street corridor infrastructure jointly funded by council and the State Government,” he said.

“Recent subdivision approvals include an 85-lot subdivision in Ararat Road, at the corner of Sloane Street, a 40-lot subdivision in Sloane Street and a host of other subdivisions ranging from two to six-lot subdivisions in general.”

Cr Driscoll said a number of applications were under consideration.

“There is land available, too, that has been considered for subdivision, but there are currently no applications in the pipeline for it,” he said.

“We have all the data and planning in place for developers to confidently step in and build.”

The entire June 15, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!