Proposed nursery could provide up to 60 jobs
ONE of the country's biggest wholesale nursery suppliers, Victorian company Dan's Plants, has revealed details of a proposed $2 million project for a site at Rous Mill, consisting of five greenhouse structures.
General Manager Dave Selzer said the wholesaler expects to commence construction later this year, once the permit is granted.
"(We) anticipate full construction to be completed within 24 months from the start date," he said.
"We anticipate this production facility will create between 20-60 local jobs in the area, depending on the season.
"We will commence the interviewing process once permits are granted, so anyone looking for work can contact us directly to email@example.com."
Depending on on the pot size and variety, the executive said the facility could produce between 1 million to 4 million plants per year.
"This facility will allow us to track the production process from start to finish," he said.
"Each plant will be entered into a data tracking system so we can identify the variety, planted date, water used, biological treatment, expected ready date.
"This production site will enable us grow varieties that we currently cannot grow well in Victoria."
The executive said the company will provide adequate training for anyone looking to up-skill in horticulture or tradesmanship.
The front boundary of the facility is expected to be planted with a Ficus hedge to screen the greenhouses from the road, with the greenhouses projected to be set down from the existing road level from between one to 10 m.
Mr Selzer said the Rous Mill property was selected for a number of reasons.
"We've been purchasing plants from this region for over 20 years, and still visit growers here regularly, so we have a very good understanding of the area. In fact, we searched for a property in this area for over seven years before settling on this one," he said.
Mr Selzer said water for the operation of the nursery will be harvested from rainwater collected from the greenhouses.
"When required, water will be sourced from the existing farm dam in accordance with the properties Harvestable Rights," he added.
"The greenhouses have a closed water system where any excess water is captured, treated and diverted back to the numerous storage tanks for reuse."
The company is one of the largest wholesale nurseries in Australia, and supplies plants to landscapers, councils, major retailers, garden centres and florists.
The development application lodged last June is currently being processed by Ballina Shire Council.