Wiley helps John Dee upgrade regional cold store

The beginning of construction of the John Dee Regional Cold Store was officially heralded recently with a sod-turning ceremony at the facility in Warwick. The project is set to upgrade the existing abattoir to develop a valuable regional asset and will be completed in late 2019.

John Dee engaged Brisbane-based international project delivery company, Wiley to complete the design and delivery for the Regional Cold Store and ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval System) facility solution. The facility is set to enable John Dee to reduce operational costs, expand storage capacity, increase product sorting capabilities and secure the future of the local, family-owned business.

Maranoa MP the Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC), Cr Tracy Dobie joined with the John Dee leadership team and Wiley representatives at the site as work gets underway.

The Regional Cold Store and ASRS will be delivered with minimal impact to production in an operating plant, something Wiley has a extensive experience in. The facility solution will be fit for the purposes of storage, sortation and retrieval.


The objectives of the project are to increase flexibility in picking product for orders and handle a high number of product variants with a focus on operational workplace health and safety.

Wiley representatives were on hand as the appointed design-build partners to celebrate and congratulate SDRC and John Dee on the project milestone. Wiley’s chief operating officer, Robert Barron, said, “We are really excited for SDRC, John Dee and the community for this project to begin. Not only does the project boost the economy with local jobs during construction, by an estimated 80 people, but also provides a valuable asset to the future of the business. We’re looking forward to bringing together local subcontractors and suppliers to assist in delivering the facility upgrade.”

The regional cold store was bought to life by funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

“This expansion will not only protect the 630 existing jobs, it creates 143 new full-time jobs and 138 indirect new full-time jobs.” said Littleproud. “Securing $4.8 million for this facility will help bolster employment opportunities in our region. Export opportunities from this development will come to about $111 million.”

“Southern Downs Mayor, Tracy Dobie, said, “John Dee is one of the region’s largest employers and its expansion shows great confidence in the future of the local livestock industry. This is a positive step forward as the Southern Downs continues to grow and prosper.”

Four generations of experience in the beef industry means John Dee is a trusted name in cattle husbandry, feed lotting and grain feed development. John Dee is a modern, internationally recognised brand that is shaping the next generation of global beef supply and the investment in this facility will enable the business to continue to support the local community well into the future.

Strengthening agricultural innovation

The Coalition Government has begun work to implement the Ernst & Young (EY) report and help agriculture become a $100 billion sector by 2030.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said a roundtable was held last week to engage with government and industry on the report findings and discuss next steps.

“EY examined whether our existing agricultural innovation system was fit for the future and would continue boosting productivity,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The report has been released in full and outlines our strengths and shortcomings, and a vision for the future so we can hit that $100 billion target.

“I commissioned the report and now is the time for action and that’s why we held this roundtable, to get key R&D and innovation leaders to the table and get things moving.

“Participants at the roundtable will take action on the key recommendations from the report.

“This will include concentrating on ground work in the regions to have more farmers adopt AgTech and FoodTech innovations.

“This could help more farmers use all available agricultural data when they make decisions.

“There is agreement we need to improve our innovation system and increase returns on our R&D investment.

“If we keep doing the same thing while our competitors improve then we’re going backwards.

“If we want Australia’s agricultural sector to continue to grow, we need to keep innovating and encourage farmers to adopt all available technology and innovation.”

Minister Littleproud welcomes red meat green paper

The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) has released an independent Green Paper investigating leadership reform for the industry.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud welcomed the Paper. “This will help to make sure our red meat industry has the leadership it needs to grow and thrive,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This Green Paper looks right across the $18.4 billion red meat industry for improvements.

“It is a once-in-a-generation chance to get industry leadership right.

“Industry is working under a 20-year old Memorandum of Understanding and the market has seen big change in that time.

“Producers are stronger working together and this Paper gives them a chance at united leadership. Red meat has grown by 60 per cent in five years and good leadership will see that continue.

“There’s many challenges ahead and it is now in the hands of producers and processors to consider what kind of future they want. I urge them to read the Green Paper and provide their views to RMAC.”