A co-operative of local cotton growers have got green signal from the Murrumbidgee Shire Council to build a $24 million cotton gin. It has been given permission to produce 150,000 bales of lint cotton.
The state-of-the-art facility will be capable of producing 60 bales per hour and have the capacity to boost its output to 100 bales per hour if demand increases, putting it on par with the two biggest gins in Australia.
During the six months of ginning, the business will employ 30 new staff to work on 12 hour shift rotations so the plant can operate non-stop for 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
The gin will boost the expansion of cotton in the Riverina by cutting freight and ginning costs for farmers.
The Riverina has been producing 350,000 bales per year for the last four years but the ginning capacity in the region has only been 150,000 bales, while the rest has to be shipped from places like Hillston and Bourke.
The new gin will be built in two phases starting with capacity for 60 bales per hour, but as demand grows in the future it will be easy to expand to 100 bales per hour.
Sixty growers will achieve more profit due to the new gin, but it will also entice more farmers to grow the crop that has previously been put off by the costs and logistical issues.
Approval had to be granted from Environment Protection Authority, Roads and Maritime Services, Office of Environment and Heritage and the Western NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel, and they all gave it the green light, said Principal of Griffith development service Planningmatters, Martin Ruggeri.
The new gin will be built on the corner of Gum Creek Road and Sturt Highway south of Carrathool and within the boundary of the Murrumbidgee Shire Council. This site has been chosen as it is relative isolation from residential homes and the closest houses are a couple of kilometres away and also it will service cotton farms in the Griffith and Carrathool local government areas.
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