Grantham Farm Workers Lodge ready to open its doors
AFTER more than a years construction, set backs and trials, the Grantham Farm Worker's Lodge was today (Friday) officially opened.
The $20 million project is a purposed built facility to house up to 260 backpackers and farm workers in high quality living standards.
The facility was opened by Federal member Scott Buchholz and Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan.
Speaking during the event, Cr Milligan said the region suffered from up to a 1500 bed short fall for backpackers, and the Lodge was an important step to remedying the issue.
"It's no secret our region has been in dire need of short term accommodation for our farm workers for a considerable amount of time," Cr Milligan said.
"It's about ensuring young overseas backpackers, whilst here in our home, harvesting our crops, ensuring that we feed the nation, are safe, that they are respected, that they are treated fairly and that their family and friends have confidence that their young person is safe and secure in the Lockyer Valley."
Developer of the project Louis Bickle thanked the council for their support and for having a vision.
"It was a very courageous step for the council, to make a policy that they wanted to do this... If this project gets supported by farmers, there no end to what this can do," Mr Bickle said.
Some final touches are being put on the first stage of the facility, and the first guests are expected to check-in within two weeks, and Mr Bickle say the space won't last long.
"It's going to fill up in about five to six weeks."
Despite the arrival of the first guests still to come, plans for a second stage consiting of 280 beds are already under way, and Mr Bickle said they were ready to begin work.
The lodge offers three levels of accommodation - beginning with dormitory style living, as well as both single and double bed self-contained units, with prices starting from just $100 a week.
Meals are on offer from a commercial kitchen for just $10 dollars a day, and workers can relax after a hard day's work with a drink or two from the bar.
Cr Milligan labelled the facilities "hotel quality" and said today's opening was a culmination of many people's hard work.
"Today is truly a great, it is an amalgamation of so many people working together to bring something truly wonderful and genuinely needed for this community."