THE first sod has been turned to mark the construction of a $22 million chicken hatchery in the Southern Downs.
The Darwalla Group's hatchery will be in Bradfield Rd in Allora.
It will generate 18 direct jobs as well as a number of contractor positions during its construction.
State-of-the-art equipment will be imported from Belgium for the plant, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed the development and said the council was working hard to attract new businesses and industries that would create jobs and growth in the region.
"This new hatchery is a boom for jobs in the Southern Downs," she said.
"It also adds to the clean, green reputation of the Southern Downs region as the place for people establishing world-class businesses."
Cr Dobie said the additional work would create other new jobs in the region.
"One hundred jobs were confirmed last week by the Churches of Christ for their new residential aged-care service currently under construction in Warwick," she said.
"We're also expecting additional employment from the Grove Juice expansion.
Cr Dobie said a joint application by the council and family-owned meat processor John Dee to the Building Better Regions Fund for a $15 million expansion would create 130 new jobs.
"Council is committed to attracting new businesses and industries to the Southern Downs and we will continue to seek other employment generating businesses and to assist existing businesses to expand in the region," she said.
The Darwalla Group is looking to establish strong links with council and the community.
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