Federation Council and the Staughton Group were joined by local MP Sussan Ley today to officially open the Howlong Industrial Estate and Export Precinct project.

The project has allowed for a new 16 lot Business Park Development, as an expansion to Howlong’s Industrial Precinct, and in partnering with the Australian Government and the Staughton Group, the expansion and upgrade of the existing Staughton Group (CoolOff) manufacturing facility.

The location of the new Business Park provides easy and accessible transport links to major cities and regional centres along with offering extensive freight and transport services that offer fast and cost effective distribution options.

The projects were made possible by funding from the Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund of $6.759 million, $6.589 million from the Staughton Group (CoolOff) and $1.999 million funded by Federation Council, bringing to total combined project cost of $15,347,415.

Mayor Cr Pat Bourke said, “Council is proud to provide a new 16 lot Business Park, totalling 8.5ha including water, sewer, power and telecommunications infrastructure.”

“Federation Council fosters business development and expansion and this project makes very good business sense. With a vibrant economy, excellent transport linkages and accessibility, strong opportunities for growth and exceptional lifestyle choices, including fantastic community facilities, there are endless reasons to consider doing business in and relocating to this region.”

“The Howlong Commercial precinct and Industrial Estate is a growing and thriving area and both have seen many new businesses establish, and existing businesses strengthen and expand, and we know this will continue in the coming years because of this project” he said. Mayor Bourke continued “This is a really important project for the Howlong and surrounding communities and one that Federation Council knows will attract significant business investment into the future. Projects like these, play such a major role in supporting our economy through job creation and driving economic development in the Federation Council and surrounding region.

Staughton Group Managing Director Mr Edward Staughton said, “The Howlong Industrial Export Precinct Project has led to significant growth in Staughton Group domestic and export sales. The group turnover has increased by more than 62% since the commencement of the Project and export growth has been a major part of the growth in turnover. As a group, export sales in the year ended June 2020 made up 45% of overall sales with this set to grow by more than $15m in the 2021 year.”

“This project has provided an increase in Staughton Group warehousing capacity of 300%, which is now fully utilised as a result of the Building Better Regions Grant related,” he said.

Federal Member for Farrer Ms Sussan Ley said, “In addition to attracting additional businesses to the region, this investment will produce longer-term economic benefits and diversification of the local economy.”

The expansion of the Staughton Group facilities will create 149 jobs against an original target of 55 representing 170% of the original plan when the project was conceived. I am confident this project can help bring economic prosperity to Howlong and the surrounding region for many years to come,” she said.

Mayor Cr Pat Bourke said, “Federation Council’s business footprint includes small to medium sized enterprises ranging from tourism and hospitality to manufacturing and agriculture.

Traditionally farming provides the main source of employment in the region, although this has evolved with the diversification of the economic base to include tourism and various other rural industries. We look forward to seeing lots sell in this new Business Park driving further economic development”

On behalf of the consortium, I would like to thank the Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund, Project Partner the Staughton Group, head major contractors including A P Delaney, & Co, Barry Leahy Engineering, VK Logic and the Project Management team at Council led by Robert Bon, for managing this project. This has been an amazing business and job growth initiative and Council looks forward to welcoming many new business into the future into this estate,” he said