New macadamia processing facility planned

Macadamia processing facility
The Australian Macadamia Society has forecast a new record crop in 2019.

A macadamia nut processing facility could get cracking after an application was lodged with Bundaberg Regional Council this week.

FNC Processing Pty Ltd has applied for a material change of use for two lots on Gordons Road, Alloway.

If approved, the facility will run during the nut processing period from February to October, employing up to six staff during the peak of the season.

Planning and development portfolio spokesperson Cr Ross Sommerfeld said the applicant had a well-established macadamia nut cultivation and processing presence in Bundaberg.

“The proposed facility would expand this presence with the dehusking and drying of locally grown macadamia and the drying of nuts grown external to the Bundaberg Region,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

Plans for the macadamia processing facility.
Plans for the macadamia processing facility.

Plans for the facility span over two lots at the location, measuring 6060sqm and 60.42ha respectively.

“Lot 1 features a large existing 1180sqm machinery shed with ancillary storage sheds,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

“Lot 2 includes frontage to Wises Road, Gordons Road and the unmade Alloway Siding Road. It is under cane cultivation.”

Cr Sommerfeld said the proposed macadamia nut processing facility would mark the third application of its type received by Council in a year.

“Earlier in 2018, it was announced more than 100 jobs would be created locally following the approval of an $11.7 million expansion by local company Macadamias Australia,” he said.

“This was followed by another development application for a site in Production Street, which was approved by Council.

“We have a burgeoning agricultural enterprise which is continuously highlighted through these applications.”

The Australian Macadamia Society has forecast the national macadamia crop to rise slightly in 2019 to a new record of 49,900 tonnes.

Society chief executive Jolyon Burnett said the Australian macadamia industry continued to expand with high levels of new investment.