WORDS AND IMAGES | Shire of Murray

The future is brighter for the region’s youth, entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing business including producers, as planning progresses for the Agri-Innovation Precinct in Transform Peel’s Peel Business Park in Nambeelup.

 In June, a project manager was appointed to oversee the delivery of the Shire of Murray owned facility.

The project manager is also sitting on the committee overseeing the design of the Bushfire Centre of Excellence, to optimise synergies between the Centre and the Precinct.

Over 20 submissions were received by the Shire from individuals, entrepreneurs and small and major enterprise, in response to an expression of interest opportunity.

 An interim program is being considered to gain momentum in order to progress a selection of submissions for inclusion in the Precinct once open, to pioneer the opportunities on offer. The Shire of Murray and Peel Development Commission are working together in the establishment of the program and funding is currently being sought.

 An Enterprise Support Program is also being negotiated with the Australian and State Governments.

 This will include small business support, export advice and a grant voucher scheme to enable access to research and product development facilities, equipment and expertise for SMEs and start-ups.

 At the September Council Meeting, Shire of Murray Councillors provided in principle support for lease arrangements with prospective tenants ManukaLife, Fund Singapore and Murdoch University. Agreements to lease are being finalised.

 The appointment of the project’s design architect was also realised in September, with the Shire of Murray selecting i2C Architects as the preferred proponents. Building plans, designs and costings are currently being progressed and equipment requirements determined, in consultation with the project manager and foundation tenants.

 Subject to final designs and costings, which are anticipated by early 2020, the Precinct will house university-led science laboratories, food product research and small batch production facilities, offices and co-working spaces, business incubator facilities, cold and dry storage facilities, meeting rooms, café and public presentation areas.

Construction is on track to commence in early to mid 2020, which aligns with the delivery of stage one lots, with Precinct occupation anticipated for early 2022.

 The Agri-Innovation Precinct is establishing an eco-system of existing business, entrepreneurs, start-ups, common-use infrastructure, scientific research, product and business development support and access to new domestic and export markets.

 The Precinct will broaden Peel’s economic base by competitively positioning enterprise product development and production primarily for international markets, especially in the Agtech, IT and Food and Beverage sectors.

 It will be a cooperative research and development establishment, providing access to expertise and new technologies to test and build new products and will help secure the long-term sustainability of Murray and beyond.

 On site at the Peel Business Park, the Royalties for Regions funded infrastructure works are continuing to be delivered by Development WA with the electrical trunk infrastructure being the installation of underground cable from Pinjarra to the Business Park complete. Bulk earthworks for the first stage of industrial development are also complete.

 Following the award of the next civil construction works contract to Peel-based contractor Wormall Civil, works have now commenced on the subdivision of stage one, with road and services upgrades to Gull and Lakes Roads as well as improvements to outfall drainage for the Park to follow.

 Majority of stage one lots released to the market for sale are under contract, with DevelopmentWA now taking expressions of interest for stage two.

 In September, the Enwave Consortium was appointed by DevelopmentWA as the successful proponent to develop, own and operate a renewable energy industrial microgrid within the Park, the first of its kind for an Australian industrial park.

 The microgrid is an innovative and cost-effective solution, which provides a robust and scalable renewable energy supply that expands the current electrical capacity of the local grid, in line with load demand from the Park. This solution also delivers a high content of renewable electricity at 30% less than regulated bundled tariffs, which is expected to attract and accelerate the uptake by businesses and create development opportunities that will deliver much-needed jobs to

the region.

The microgrid consists of a 1 MW solar farm and a 2 MWh battery energy storage system. Additional electricity can be sourced from the Western Power grid as required.

 The Shire’s Agri-Innovation Precinct will be one of the first developments within the Park to be powered by the innovative microgrid system.

 These progressive projects are contributing significantly to the economic viability of the region. Through increased job, training, business growth and diversification opportunities, spending in local communities and external revenue streams, the future is bright for Peel.

The Agri-Innovation Precinct and Peel Business Park developments are supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

 

MORE INFORMATION

For further information contact Shire of Murray phone (08) 9531 7675 or email med@murray.wa.gov.au

This article was first published in the Peel Magazine, Spring/Summer – vol 5.2 – to read and download the full magazine, click here.