In the coming weeks, despite power installation delays causing frustrations, the first vines will be planted at Hughenden’s new grape farm. Victorian company Marciano Table Grapes was attracted to Hughenden as part of the Flinders Shire Council’s 15 Mile irrigated agricultural precinct.
Unfortunately, owner Phillip Marciano said problems securing a power supply have left him needing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on generators so the farm can progress. About 80 hectares of red, white and black grapes, some 100,000 vines, will be planted between mid-June and early July, with that amount set to be doubled in 2022 to 2023. The grapes will target the domestic market, with an October harvest.
Marciano said water and a power supply was promised to the corner of the farm but he was then required to pay $266,000 to Ergon Energy to get the power delivered. Mayor Jane McNamara said the Flinders Shire Council had assisted Marciano with securing the best deal possible for the construction costs for the three phase line to the 15 Mile farm.
“Our CEO has worked tirelessly to secure a reduction in construction costs from nearly $900,000, back to $266,000 from the power supplier due to the proposed power usage,” she told queenslandcountrylife.com.au.