Benalla will be the home of Victoria’s largest precast concrete manufacturing facility, which will provide 400 jobs and a massive boost to the local economy.
The project was labelled a ‘‘game changer’’ for the town by Benalla Rural City Mayor Don Firth.
‘‘This is a massive investment and it’s one that Benalla’s been waiting on for a long time,’’ Cr Firth said.
‘‘The number of jobs that are coming to Benalla are so significant it’s probably the biggest investment that Benalla’s seen at least since Thales, the ammunition factory, was built many years ago.
‘‘This is significant and it really is exciting.’’
The facility’s first job will be to provide concrete sections for the Westgate Tunnel project, and is expected to be operational before the end of the year.
Ongoing and future infrastructure projects are cited to support up to 300 permanent jobs, with the extra 100 people to be employed during the construction phase.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan joined State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes in Benalla on Thursday to announce the site for the $60million facility.
‘‘This will be the largest precast facility in Victoria, creating hundreds of new jobs and providing a massive boost to Victoria’s manufacturing sector,’’ Mr Donnellan said.
‘‘We’re making sure that all of Victoria can share the opportunities created by our massive program of major infrastructure investment.’’
The massive factory will be operated by local businesses and will supply precast concrete for major projects across the state.
The facility will be capable of producing up to 1500tonnes of concrete product per day at peak capacity.
Benalla’s access to road and rail infrastructure means the facility is well placed to supply future Victorian and interstate projects, creating ongoing economic benefits for Benalla and surrounding communities.
To limit the number of trucks on local roads, the precast concrete segments for the West Gate Tunnel Project will be transported to Melbourne by freight train.
A new 700m rail siding will be built along the existing rail line in Benalla to provide a direct link between the precast facility and Melbourne.
Ms Symes said the announcement was great news for her home town.
‘‘It’ll bring jobs for locals and a boost to economic activity that will be felt throughout the region,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘Construction will be under way soon and by the end of the year this will be Victoria’s biggest precast concrete manufacturing facility — driving the local economy now and for many years to come.’’
The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide an estimated $11billion boost to the Victorian economy, creating 6000 new jobs.
Construction of the Benalla precast facility is due to start in March, and it will be fully operational from October.