WITHDRAWN: Why Greensill Farming pulled 3-storey office plan
The opportunity to be included in a local ag tech precinct has led to one of the region's largest names in agriculture pulling the pin on a proposed three-storey development.
Greensill Farming have withdrawn an application lodged with the Bundaberg Regional Council for an office building in Qunaba but say the timing has nothing to do with Greensill Capital entering voluntary administration last week.
According to documentation the determination date for the Change (Other) for Material Change of Use for Office development application decision was March 10, 2021.
Greensill Farming CEO Damien Botha said as part of an exciting opportunity locally, the company was now co-located at the Bargara AgTech Precinct with Burnett Mary Regional Group and CQUniversity instead.
"This opportunity arose after Greensill Farming had commenced initial plans for a purpose built office, hence the application was withdrawn," Mr Botha said.
"We are very excited about our future at this new and exciting space."
According to the proposal document's background: "In addition to the farming operations, Greensill (formerly Greensill Capital) would also operate from the site".
The document goes on to state the proposed office that would "be primarily used for administrative functions associated with the existing rural land holdings and packing facilities, with the residual of the building being used for the company's agribusiness and agri-finance business".
It also outlined plans to convert existing office space into a staff amenities building for packing shed staff.
"The new office would cater for 177 staff, including 40 staff for the finance component," the proposal documents read.
Mr Botha said the Greensill Farming business operates "entirely independently" of Greensill Capital.
He said the current negotiations regarding the future of Greensill Capital would have no impact on Greensill Farming's day-to-day operations and its ability to provide quality produce to customers.
"The two events [the application withdrawal and the reported financial matters concerning Greensill Capital] are completely unrelated with our lease at the Bargara AgTech Precinct commencing in mid-2020," Mr Botha said.
While the development of a new office building was withdrawn, the Green Solutions Wide Bay facility has opened.
"Feedback on the facility so far indicates Green Solutions Wide Bay will be well received by local residents and businesses, providing a convenient green waste disposal site free of charge," Mr Botha said.
"Since commencing we have been very pleased with the strong volume of green waste deliveries to our facility every day.
"For contractors and local garden and landscaping businesses, Green Solutions provides a cost saving while also ensuring we dispose of green waste ethically to help create a more sustainable environment for the future."
He said Greensill Farming was passionate about the environment and sustainability.
"It is important to us to find sustainable ways to use and benefit from the natural resources available in our region," Mr Botha said.
"Raw green waste material received at Green Solutions Wide Bay is turned into compost that will be returned to the soils across our region to reduce our carbon footprint and create soil biodiversity.
"Our facility provides the Wide Bay community with a free and convenient green waste drop-off and disposal site that turns green waste into compost."
Mr Botha said there was an additional 2-3 full time jobs created by the Green Solutions Wide Bay project so far and as the site grows operationally there will likely be more employment opportunities.
As for the year ahead, Mr Botha said their focus was on continuing to build their supply chain strategic partnerships, production systems, and global markets.
In terms of further development, he said the farming company would continue with work in the Wallaville area.
Green Solutions Wide Bay is on 417 Windermere Rd, Qunaba and open from 7am - 5pm daily.
The facility is closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
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