Australia’s oldest distillery lends a hand for Logan community

With the bottle shops being inundated you’d be right to think Beenleigh Rum would be increasing their rum production.

But no, the Logan icon has all but stopped the production of rum to focus on producing high-strength ethanol to ensure a much-needed supply of hand sanitiser during the COVID-19 crisis.

Steve Magarry, the distillery’s Production Manager, said it was another way Beenleigh Rum was helping Logan and the broader community in times of crisis.

He said the latest effort first came about in an effort to ensure the health and safety of staff at the distillery.

“Typically we produce two products here at the distillery, which are rum and high-strength ethanol for food and beverage purposes,” he said.

“At the moment we’ve actually halted rum production to focus on the high-strength ethanol.

“With the demand for hand sanitiser, we decided to look into making our own as ethanol is the key ingredient of sanitiser.”

After producing it for staff, it was then intended to be made for retail and to be sold through their sister company, Wheel & Barrow.

“When the Queensland Government approached us we were happy to help and we are now supplying them with 20-litre drums of sanitiser,” Mr Magarry said.

Mark Sawyers – Distiller

Mr Magarry said the distillery had also felt the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak having shut down tours and the visitor centre.

“Fortunately the increased ethanol production has meant we have been able to redeploy staff and utilise them in other areas,” he said.

When asked about whether there may be a rum shortage, Mr Magarry was firm that supplies were fine.

“Absolutely not, there is no shortage of rum,” he said.

“In the coming weeks and months we will re-evaluate and look to return to our normal production.”

See also: A double rum… but not as we know it – Queensland Government Press Release

City of Logan’s COVID-19 relief package to assist community and business

Logan City Council has announced a financial support package to provide immediate and long-term support to its community and business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Logan Economic Response Package will provide immediate assistance for rate payers, suspend debt recovery measures and prioritise procurement for local business operators.

Council will also redirect $200,000 from the Community Project Grants budget into an Emergency Relief Fund, as part of a broader Community Relief Package.

The Fund will help to cover costs of providing goods and resources immediately to those in hardship and those who have already been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Key components of the support plan include:

  • An additional interest free period is in place for the April – June quarter rates and charges notice (to September 30).
  • Council’s existing hardship arrangements for residential property owners will be extended to all ratepayers.
  • Council will cut its invoice payment time by half with 14-day payments to contractors.
  • A 50 per cent refund for operational (licence) fees paid since July last year for nearly 1300 businesses including hospitality and food operators, hotels and motels, manufacturers and a range of other businesses.
  • Fees will be waived for any new applications received up until August 31 this year.
  • Three months of lease fees will be waived to external operators engaged to manage Council-owned venues.
  • Annual lease fees for not-for-profit organisations who lease a Council community leased facility will be waived for 2020.
  • Organisations operating from a Council community leased facility (and have none or less than 15 gaming machines), will have their existing levels of Council remissions increased to 100 per cent for the January to March 2020 billing period (billed in April 2020).
  • Financial relief for more than 180 sport, recreation and community organisations within Logan that have memberships in excess of 40,000 people, through lease fee waivers.
  • Future initiatives will be investigated and considered as part of Council’s 2020/21 Budget processes.

Logan City Council Interim Administrator Tamara O’Shea, said Council had a civic and moral responsibility to support the local community during this challenging time.

“Council is reaching out to its residents and the business community to offer support and assistance,” she said.

“While all levels of government have a support role to play, Council has a unique position as the leading agency within the Logan community.

“We are here to support our residents and businesses in whatever way possible. This includes job opportunities for locals by revising our procurement process and relieving pressure on household budgets.”

Ms O’Shea said Council’s support and assistance packages were designed to help Logan residents and business tap into social funding and economic stimulus initiatives already announced by the Federal and State government.

These include the Federal Government’s First ($17.6 billion) and Second ($66 billion) Stimulus Packages and the State Government’s $4 billion support package.

For business owners, the Logan Office of Economic Development (LOED) has established a support team to respond to the emerging needs of the business community.

It will include mentors who are available to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.

Ms O’Shea said the Logan community was strong and resilient but conceded monumental challenges would bring some uncertainty.

Her message is “together we will get through this”.

“My thoughts are with everyone doing it tough, from business owners to those who may have lost jobs, mums and dads, grandparents and children, many of whom are experiencing hardship,” she said.

“Also spare a thought for the hundreds of volunteers working tirelessly for charity organisations around the city who ensure some of our most vulnerable members of the community are supported.

“It’s going to take a dedicated and carefully managed approach and all of us joining together to help support – then reignite – our communities, our businesses and our economy.”

For details on community support, emergency relief, donations and the latest update on Council services go to logan.qld.gov.au/covid-19

Logan Village Green Masterplan to deliver for community

A new playground inspired by the designs and input from local children will be the centrepiece of an upcoming refurbishment at Logan Village Green.

A temporary pop-up coffee shop, upgrades to the RSL cenotaph and new signage are also included in the Logan Village Green Master Plan adopted by Logan City Council.

The design of the playground has commenced and the project is earmarked for completion by the end of the year.

Logan Village Playground Visualisation

Logan Village Playground Visualisation

In the 2018/19 Budget, Council endorsed $2 million for the Logan Village Implementation Fund over three years to support the planning, detailed design, management and delivery of priority projects identified from the Logan Village Forum.

The Master Plan follows extensive community consultation and is a key outcome of the 2018 Forum which identified upgrades to the Logan Village Green as a high priority project.

Council obtained a $500,000 funding grant for the Activation, Embellishment and Upgrade of the Logan Village Green under the Building Better Regions Fund Round 3.

The Master Plan includes a future multi-purpose community facility, an outdoor stage and upgraded events space for live music.

Future plans also include a feasibility study for a multi-functional community centre and design of a new ‘main street’ along the Village Green.

Improved signage and street furniture, a visitor information facility and a coordinated events program will position the area as a regional tourism destination.

Logan City Council Director Strategy and Sustainability, David Hansen, said the projects signalled an exciting new era for the Logan Village community.

“The community told us what they wanted and Council has responded,” Mr Hansen said.

“The renewal of this iconic hub will create a destination for people outside of Logan to visit. It has been designed by the community, for the community and visitors to the city.”

Mr Hansen said improved amenity through tree planting, new paving, signage and new feature lighting, and improved connectivity through pedestrian and cycle ways would provide a family-oriented destination.

A ‘Meet the Place Manager’ open day was held in Logan Village and provided an opportunity for interested parties to meet officers and discuss the draft Master Plan.

During the consultation period, 493 people visited the website and written submissions from 35 individuals and organisations were received.

To find out more, please download the Logan Village Green Master Plan (PDF 9.8 MB).

Manufacturers thrive in Logan

Business confidence in the City of Logan continues to strengthen as major investment is secured for future industrial estates and manufacturers embark on multimillion dollar expansion plans and explore opportunities in new international markets.

Manufacturing has long been a significant contributor to Logan’s economy – valued at around $2.88 billion and creating 8,700 jobs, the sector is the top third highest revenue generator and is the city’s fifth largest employer.

While the industry has seen an overall decline nationally, many Logan businesses in both traditional and emerging manufacturing sectors have continued to grow and thrive.

Local vitamin supplement manufacturer ATP Science will soon consolidate their premises into a $15 million purpose-built 6000 sqm headquarters in Meadowbrook – a move that will allow the company to develop new lines, double their workforce and fast-track global expansion plans.

Managing Director Jeff Doidge said the time was now to invest in a new Logan headquarters as the business was experiencing massive growth and exploring opportunities offshore.

“About 80 per cent is sold in Australia and we are currently exporting to the UAE, US and UK and have some emerging markets in India and China,” he said.

“Being in Logan gives us access to the ports, the airport and the sea docks – as far as major infrastructure is concerned it’s fantastic.”

Accessibility is one of the city’s main draw cards for manufacturers – Logan is just a 30 minute drive to the Port of Brisbane, in close proximity to 3 international airports and conveniently located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Infrastructure investment in Logan is at historic levels – with the completion of the $500 million Logan Enhancement Project and more than $18 billion in the pipeline, investors are taking interest in the city’s industrial areas.

International property investors MapleTree Logistics Trust recently secured 36 hectares of land in Park Ridge for $95 million, which forms part of a future 157 hectare industrial estate.

The city is already home to several industry leaders including award-winning product commercialisation facility Evolve Group; and specialists in rocket and propulsion systems Black Sky Aerospace, who were the first to secure access to NASA’s Australian launch site.

Leading manufacturer in tanker solutions Holmwood Highgate has operated in Logan since 1994 and continues to expand their workforce to keep up with business growth.

Director Wade Mellish says that the city’s location and access to a skilled workforce has supported Holmwood Highgate explore opportunities in the global defence industry.

In 2018, Holmwood Highgate was awarded a contract as part of Rheinmetall’s Australian supply chain, a crucial step in furthering their expansion into new markets.

“The City of Logan allows us to deliver world-class products both domestically and internationally,” he said.

“We’ve got upwards of 200 staff now – blue and white collar – and increasing the workers every day because of the amount of work that we have on.”

Within a 40km radius, the city has access to a regional catchment of more than 2.6 million people and a large pool of talent for employers to choose from.

Furthermore, the presence of major transport and logistics companies and proximity to a diverse network of suppliers makes Logan an attractive location for businesses of all sizes.

The ease of doing business in Logan has driven an emergence of niche manufacturers in the food and beverage categories.

Food and beverage processing has continued to grow and is the city’s most productive sub-sector.

Small businesses including craft brewers, honey product manufacturers, coffee roasters and chocolate makers operate successfully from Logan.

Logan City Council has recently made it easier for craft brewers to establish themselves in Logan by implementing significant changes to the planning scheme.

The City of Logan is fast-becoming a destination of choice for manufacturers in the region and offers eligible businesses incentives to move into the city.

Find out more about the opportunities for manufacturers in Logan by visiting https://www.loed.com.au/investinlogan/.

Logan wins on key infrastructure

Christmas has come early in the City of Logan after new funding was announced by the State and Federal governments for two major infrastructure projects that have long been on Logan City Council’s wish list.

The Loganlea train station will be relocated as part of a $95 million project, while a $20 million business case will be developed for the Salisbury to Beaudesert rail line.

A further $94.3 million for M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades (to be shared between the Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill, Daisy Hill to Logan Motorway and Varsity Lakes to Tugun stretches) will be provided earlier than previously announced.

In addition, both governments have reached an agreement on the $9.3 billion Inland Rail project, paving the way for the delivery of the project in Queensland. Council continues to seek a commitment of accountability around environmental impacts such as noise, vibration and dust – and for those impacts to be carefully considered and appropriately mitigated.

The funding is part of a total $1.9 billion road and rail package for Queensland. It was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Brisbane.

The Federal Government will bring forward almost $650 million in funding and provide more than $680 million in new funding, while the State Government is committing $606 million.

Logan projects to receive funding:

  • Salisbury to Beaudesert passenger rail business case (total $20 million, split 50/50 between State and Federal governments)
  • Relocate Loganlea train station (total $95 million, $50 million from Federal Government, $45 million from State Government)
  • Pacific Motorway (a total of $94.3 million of Federal funding will be brought forward for the Eight Mile Plains-Daisy Hill; Daisy Hill-Logan Motorway and Varsity Lakes-Tugun sections)

Loganlea Train Station Relocation

Logan City Council has long been advocating for the relocation of Loganlea Train station. Relocating and upgrading the Loganlea Train Station is critical to the future growth of Meadowbrook as a world class health and education precinct, and for the liveability of the area for local residents. An integrated transport hub will provide increased connectivity to an upgraded Logan Hospital, and improved connections to the TAFE campus and Loganlea State High School.

Following feedback from the community and relevant stakeholders at the Meadowbrook Summit in 2018, advocacy for the relocation of the station was listed as an action in the Meadowbrook Implementation Plan (Action 37). The relocated station is also depicted in the Meadowbrook Master Plan.

The current station was already scheduled for required upgrades to conform with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This additional funding will allow a new station to be built that is both accessible and connected, and can also accommodate future upgrades of the proposed Kuraby to Beenleigh Capacity Improvement Project. $15 million has also been pledged by the Federal Government for a new carpark for the station, as part of their 2019 election campaign.

More information:

Beenleigh makes its big screen debut

A summer of film fun awaits Beenleigh after the successful premiere of its much anticipated LED Big Screen at Beenleigh Town Square.

The new big screen is capable of streaming movies, live sporting events, text-to-screen interaction and custom event-generated content. A games console also provides retro 2-player gaming with games like Galaga and Pac-Man.

The four by three metre screen beamed its first movie, Incredibles 2, to a rapt audience in the Beenleigh Town Square on Friday 22 November.

The movie night was the first in a series of free open air cinemas that will be held in the rejuvenated town square over the coming months.

There’ll also be a Christmas Film Festival to bring festive cheer to Beenleigh.

Logan City Council Director of Strategy and Sustainability David Hansen said Friday night’s event was a complete success.

“When we embarked on this project we wanted to see more people coming to the Beenleigh Town Square and enjoying what it has to offer,” he said.

“Tonight’s attendance shows that the old adage ‘if you build it they will come’ is true.

“Having attractions such a big screen adds to the liveability of the town by bringing the community together for events and boosting its sense of identity.”

The big screen and the associated place activation strategy is one of the first short-term priority projects identified by the Beenleigh Summit in 2017.

This follows the installation of Wi-Fi in the Beenleigh Town Square and other projects planned such as a shade solution for the Town Square and streetscape improvements and the installation of smart parking in Beenleigh.

The Beenleigh Summit brought together experts and the community to come up with ideas to unlock the town’s potential.

Beenleigh has seen significant renewal over the last few years.

The Beenleigh Town Square redevelopment turned a six-way roundabout into a pedestrian friendly place for the community to congregate and hold events.

Free movies for November and December

  • Friday, December 6 – A Christmas Carol
  • Friday, December 20 – The Grinch
  • Golden Turkeys Christmas Film Festival, December 22-26 including;
    Rudolph and Frosty (1979), Sunday, December 22;
    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), Monday, December 23;
    Robot Monster (1953), Tuesday, December 24;
    Magic Xmas Tree (1964), December 25
    Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), Friday, December 26.

Movie-goers should bring a chair or a rug.

More screenings and other special events in the Town Square will be held in the New Year.

For more information visit Beenleigh Town Square

Demand outstrips supply in Logan accommodation market

A surge in private and public investment, growing visitor numbers and game-changing tourism projects underway is driving the demand for short-term accommodation in the City of Logan.

Located just 30 minutes’ drive to major destinations – Brisbane to the north and the Gold Coast to the south – Logan welcomes 1.4 million visitors each year and continues to have strong levels of growth in domestic and international overnight travel.

The $12 billion of tourism infrastructure injected into the wider region, places the city in a strategic position to take advantage of the boom in visitors to South East Queensland.

However, recent growth forecasts suggest occupancy rates in Logan will exceed 80 per cent by 2021, set to trigger a severe undersupply of rooms and leakage of trade by 2026.

Logan’s current supply is limited – at around 300 rooms across 12 facilities, it comprises primarily of motel style accommodation concentrated along arterial roads.

Despite high occupancy rates, no new hotel stock has been developed in more than a decade.

As cities like Brisbane focus on servicing the leisure travel market, Logan has the potential to grow its stake in the business travel market.

Home to more than 21,000 registered businesses, many headquarters and operational bases in Logan generate a substantial and continuous demand in overnight room stays.

Just one example is global company John Deere – its headquarters for Australia and New Zealand is located in Logan and receives around 700 domestic visitors every year for training alone.

The demand metrics on population and business growth indicates a need for 65,000 additional room nights in Logan up until 2036 – equivalent to 180 additional rooms.

When compared to similar areas, Logan is undersupplied in the number of commercial short term accommodation rooms relative to population, workers and visitors.

Table showing area, accomodation rooms, pop

Table: Data as at January 2019

As one of the largest employers in the city, the Logan Hospital in Meadowbrook is one of the busiest health service providers in the region and has recently kicked off its $460 million expansion project.

Meadowbrook has been identified as a hotspot for potential accommodation facilities, aligned with Council’s master plan to develop the centre as a medical and health precinct.

With projects like the hospital underway and large private enterprise investing in Logan, the demand could outstrip supply faster than predicted.

In the last financial year, building activity in Logan was valued at over $800 million.

A stream of commercial activity saw large companies including national coffee franchisor Zarraffa’s Coffee, global logistics leader DHL and world-first commercial drone delivery service providers Wing (an Alphabet company) establish their operations in Logan.

Zarraffa’s Coffee moved into their $20 million purpose-built national headquarters from the Gold Coast to Logan in August this year.

The company’s new HQ will support 90 plus stores across Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia and provide the space to progress their future expansion plans.

Spanning 18,000 sqm, the site also combines a roastery, a warehousing, packaging and distribution hub, factory concept café, and the $50 million Distillery Road Market project being delivered by the company’s development arm Tonken Property Group.

Headed by founder of Zarraffa’s Coffee, Kenton Campbell, Distillery Road Market is set to become a world-class food experience destination akin to iconic markets such as Chelsea Market in New York and The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney.

Campbell said the timing was right to relocate to Logan, given its central location along the growth corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

“From the point of view of customers, staff and suppliers, there is no better place, than where we are right here,” Campbell said.

“Logan has given me the ability to create something special at Distillery Road Market and for Zarraffa’s.”

Distillery Road Market will be the first of its kind in Logan and Queensland, and is part of a growing tourism cluster in the Beenleigh and Eagleby area.

Local attractions such as Beenleigh Artisan Distillery, Australia’s oldest registered distillery, and award-winning Aboriginal live theatre experience, Spirits of the Red Sand, draw in both domestic and international visitors.

In the next few years, the city’s strategic focus on developing its capabilities in the business, cultural and sports events sectors, will see Logan’s relatively youthful tourism industry continue to evolve.

Over the past 6 months, Logan City Council’s events acquisition program in partnership with Sports Marketing Australia has since attracted attendance of more than 14,000 competitors and spectators across 50 event days.

Rick Sleeman, Managing Director of Sports Marketing Australia said that Logan had an accessible location and the right event infrastructure in place to host major sporting events.

“A capacity and capability assessment identified Logan’s potential to become a sports super centre in South East Queensland,” he said.

“Logan has world-class facilities from PGA standard golf courses, sporting fields, indoor courts and 2000-capacity arenas, plus access to national and international airports making the city an ideal host.”

Crowd watching an indoor basketball game

Image: Logan Metro Sports and Events Centre is the third largest venue in Greater Brisbane accommodating up to 2,100 guests 

In 2018, the Brisbane Roar Football Club invested $9 million to develop a state of the art training facility and operations base at Logan Metro Sports Park and has plans to host tournaments.

And the recent $65 million whitewater adventure park proposal, now at the pre-feasibility stage, will be a game-changer for Logan and the region – with the potential to become an iconic tourism asset and future Olympic Games venue.

The demand for short term accommodation continues to escalate as the line-up of major sporting tournaments join Logan’s events calendar.

Given the strong demand fundamentals and opportunities across business, events and the emerging tourism industry in Logan, there is a demonstrated gap for a business style, specialist hotel or serviced apartments.

To support this shortage in supply, Logan City Council offers incentives for eligible new short term accommodation developments that achieve a 3.5 to 5 star rating.

For more information on development incentives and to download the study on short term accommodation investment opportunities visit www.loed.com.au/investinlogan.

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Global food markets on international display

Celebrity British chef Ainsley Harriott is doing his part to showcase our city’s diverse produce and markets with the screening of Ainsley’s Market Menu featuring our Logan Central Global Food Markets.

The popular TV series, which is screened in 130 countries will be broadcast throughout Australia on SBS on 24 October.

When the episode was shot earlier this year, Ainsley visited stalls collecting locally-grown ingredients and tasted many of the largely ethnic cuisines on offer while deciding which dishes to prepare.

He bought Halal lamb, kundru, cassava, turmeric, ginger and plenty of Asian greens provided by local vendors and then used the ingredients to cook three gourmet dishes on site at his stall as hundreds of market-goers and vendors looked on.

The first dishes he made were a global green shot and coconut smoothie and Asian lamb patties on char-grilled cassava. As a main course he created Ram’s kundru pumpkin vegetable curry, which  he made for stallholder Ram Harakh Maharaj, of Shailer Park, who was celebrating his 85th birthday.

During filming Ainsley said the markets were among the most diverse he had visited—with the range of local produce rivalling some of the huge street markets in London.

“The food here (in Logan) was fantastic, fresh and vibrant and I just wanted to cook it,” he said.

“Everyone was so friendly. It was just a brilliant day.”

Ainsley’s visit to the City of Logan’s Global Food Markets follows the hugely successful guest appearance at the markets in 2017 by MasterChef runnerup Poh Ling Yeow.

The Sunday morning Global Food Markets, based in Croydon Rd, Logan Central, are a weekly event run by Ethnic Communities Council of Logan Inc. with support from Logan City Council.

The majority of the produce on sale is sourced from backyard gardens and community vegetable plots across the city and includes ingredients suited to Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Pacific Island cuisines.

For more information on the weekly Global Food Markets go to globalfoodmarkets.com.au

Whitewater adventure park to make a splash in Logan

Logan City Council has progressed its whitewater adventure park plans with the completion of a pre-feasibility study outlining a unique $65 million tourism asset that would also suit a future Olympic Games venue.

The Lucid Economics study shows the park would cater to a raft of activities including kayaking, canoeing, guided rafting, swift water rescue training, unguided rafting and tubing and inflatable obstacle courses.

A restaurant and retail component as well as trails, zip lines, challenge courses and areas ideal for school holiday programs, promotions and special events would also feature.

Logan City Council Director of Strategy and Sustainability, David Hansen, said the project would be an exciting tourism boon for the city and would provide significant economic benefits.

The study was earmarked as a priority under Council’s Logan Destination Management Plan 2018-2022.

“This pre-feasibility study is the first phase to see how a project like this would stack up and early indications are that it ticks all the boxes,” he said.

“With potential to become an iconic tourism asset for our growing city, the facility could also be adapted as an Olympic venue through the provision of associated spectator and safety infrastructure or used as a training venue for elite athletes.”

During the construction phase it is estimated that 147 full time jobs would be created with a further 114 employed once complete.

Given Logan’s sub-tropical climate, the facility could operate all year round. The provision of a dual channel facility will also help to maximise usage and revenue during busier summer months when elite athletes from the northern hemisphere could train during their winter in the warmer southern hemisphere climate.

“The possibilities are endless and its ideal location between Gold Coast and Brisbane would attract local residents in the broader region, interstate and international visitors, national and international elite athletes, school groups, corporates and children’s parties,” Mr Hansen said.

Following a Committee endorsement today, confirmation by Council resolution next week will allow officers to proceed with the development of a business case to facilitate investment and will include further work on identifying a preferred site.

Logan has a significant catchment of 3.1 million residents within an hour’s drive from the city. This population is expected to grow to around five million by 2041.

Berrinba’s Third Avenue extension is open

The green light has been given at Third Avenue in Berrinba with the new road link open to traffic.

Traffic signals were switched on at the Third Avenue and Wembley Road intersection today.

Third Avenue now connects Wembley Road to the Gilmore Road roundabout.

The extension will improve traffic flow through the growing industrial zone.

The project is also expected to lessen congestion during peak hours at the nearby Berrinba East State School, as general through traffic now has the opportunity to conveniently bypass the school precinct.

Logan City Council Roads and Water Director Daryl Ross said the road extension was a huge boost for Berrinba.

“The extension of Third Avenue will ensure traffic flows are efficient and will make the suburb’s businesses more accessible and more connected,” he said.

“This road link is also a win for residents and families in the area, particularly those accessing the local school.

“Logan City Council is proud to continue delivering the infrastructure our community needs.”