CONSTRUCTION is well underway on a flagship branch for Elders at Muchea, set to open in early 2022 in the newly-developed Muchea Industrial Park.
Travellers on Tonkin Highway will have noticed the massive red and white structure taking shape in recent months, adjacent to the BP service station and in view of the Muchea Livestock Centre.
The $2 million facility, strategically located at the junction of the Brand and Tonkin Highways, is owned and being built by the Lester Group in consultation with Elders on a lease back arrangement.
Elders State general manager Nick Fazekas said it was an exciting way to mark the company's growth in WA.
"This industrial park site is ideally placed as a gateway to the northern agricultural corridor and builds on the success of our Midland and surrounding branches in servicing and supporting clients in the region," Mr Fazekas said.
"We are pleased to be able to grow Elders' footprint in Muchea and surrounding districts through the opening of this new state-of-the-art branch at Muchea.
"Those set to benefit most include pastoral and broadacre producers to the north and far east, horticulture and lifestyle farmers at Bindoon, Gingin and the Swan Valley and clients from along the Lancelin coast across to Wannamal, Bolgart and down to Bullsbrook.
"Our aim is to support all farmers better by providing a broader product range and improved service offering, including an onfarm delivery service which has not previously been available.
"Being right on Tonkin Highway and less than 3km from WAMIA's Muchea Livestock Centre, makes it very easy and convenient to access," Mr Fazekas said.
The custom built facility encompasses 500m2 of show floor and office space, 1000m2 of warehouse space, 500m2 of undercover loading area and with almost one hectare of land there is plenty of room for future expansion.
Road access front and back will enable all vehicles including triple road trains to drive into the undercover dock, load up and drive straight through and back on to Tonkin Highway or other road networks.
And with sustainability and an environmental conscience in mind - Elders has pledged to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity in all Australian sites by 2025 - the building is fitted with 30 kilowatt of roof solar power panels, a first for an Elders office in WA.
Mr Fazekas said, working with the Lester Group, a lot of time and thought had gone into the design of the new facility and it would provide the template, albeit on a smaller scale for other new offices proposed in regional centres.
"Local, State and Federal governments have all invested significant capital in transport and infrastructure to improve access to the northern corridor and to take advantage of the area's agriculture and resource sectors," he said.
"The opportunity for us to play an increased role in fostering growth in the region was too exciting to pass up."
Speaking on behalf of Lester Group, company director Adrian Lester said working with Elders on this project had been a great fit for their family owned and operated business as it moved back into industrial logistics to grow its property syndications business for the benefit of its more than 1400 investors.
"We source the land, develop the site and build customised facilities for mid to long term lease, generally 10 years," Mr Lester said.
"Lester Group has industrial blocks on either side of the Elders site, all accessible by triple road train, for which we are currently sourcing tenants for design and construct opportunities.
"With the Bindoon bypass for the Perth to Darwin Highway due for completion in the next two to three years and the new truck holding facility here which is set to replace Wubin, triple road trains will be able to travel directly to Muchea from the north without having to break up (down to two trailers) along the way, which will transform this region," Mr Lester said.
Michael Sala Tenna, who is the current branch manager at Elders Midland and also oversees the company's Carmel branch, will take over management of the new Muchea branch.
"Midland and Carmel will remain active branches and continue to service client's needs, but this gives us an even bigger footprint in the northern region and will provide opportunities for local employment," Mr Sala Tenna said.
"Elders is rural Australia's most trusted agribusiness with strong roots in rural communities and we are excited to bring our brand presence to the area with a team of friendly and experienced staff.
"Some of these staff are already living locally at Bullsbrook, Muchea and Gingin, including our rural products manager Alan Barry."
As president and coach of the local Gingin Eagles Football Club and a member of the Muchea cricket team, Mr Barry is already well entrenched in the region.
He said maintaining relationships and sponsorships throughout local communities would continue to be important to Elders.
Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.