A GROUP of Kimba community members is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from investors and businesses to acquire industrial allotments in the proposed Eyre Hub precinct in South Australia.
Kimba farmer and 2015 Nuffield Scholar Andrew Baldock is on the hub’s steering committee, and said its vision was to create low-cost business-development opportunities for companies and individuals servicing the agricultural and transport industries.
The consultation phase will target businesses wanting to offer commodity storage, processing, niche segregations, bulk-freight staging and supplementary services.
The steering committee believes these are “significantly under-catered for” at present, and Eyre Hub would offer improved marketing options for pulses in particularly.
Mr Baldock said 65 people attended Friday’s public meeting in Kimba about the proposal.
“The response from the meeting was overwhelmingly positive and gives the board a strong incentive to move forward to the next phase,” he said.
Eyre Hub Limited is being formed to take the project from concept to construction which, if sufficient investment is pledged, will start next year.
“We will require genuine interest and formal commitment to enable us to progress the project to a ‘shovel ready’ phase.
“Should we receive commitments, we will tailor the site based on the level and type of responses we formally receive.”
Kimba has been identified as the site for a new national radioactive waste facility.
As such, it earlier received community-benefit funding which went towards identifying key opportunities for value adding and supporting the agricultural and logistics industries on the Eyre Peninsula.
These were found to include: regional branding; grain-processing operations; heavy vehicle logistics such as servicing, inspection and fatigue-management services; freight distribution and warehousing, and customisable grain-segregation options.
“Kimba is strategically positioned to service transport and agricultural-commodity ventures and capitalise on these new opportunities, being the eastern gateway to Eyre Peninsula and halfway across Australia on National Highway One.”
As stated in Eyre Hub’s Information Memorandum, Kimba already has more than 1300 trucks passing through each week.
“Eyre Hub will prospectively enhance returns for local and Eyre Peninsula growers and realise the potential for high-quality produce and branding opportunities, while retaining locally the economic benefits of introducing business to the region.”
Stakeholders in the proposed development include Regional Development Australia, District Council of Kimba and the Cultivise consultancy.
The Eyre Hub proposal has coincided with the release last month of the draft South Australian Grain Industry Blueprint.
It has been prepared by Grain Producers SA and the SA Government, and is now open for public consultation.
Among its key themes are those which meld with Eyre Hub’s objectives, including capturing greater value from export markets, building demand for grain within South Australia, and reinforcing SA’s reputation as a producer of quality grain.
Eyre Hub invites interested parties to visit its website.
Source: Eyre Hub