Vaughan Constructions turns first sod at Luv-a-Duck’s $20 million Ballarat poultry plant

Vaughan Constructions this week turned the first sod, marking the start of construction, at the Ballarat site making way for a $20 million poultry plant for food producer Luv-a-Duck.

Within the Ballarat West Employment Zone, the factory was required because the occupier couldn’t find the resources to expand at its primary processing plant in the Victorian Wimmera town of Nhill.

Luv-a-Duck sources birds from about 30 farms around Nhill – five of which it owns.

Its office headquarters is in Ingles Street, Port Melbourne.

The Ballarat facility at 13 Nettles Road, Mitchell Park, will include 8600 square metres of building area – about 4000 sqm of which will be configured for production, 3300 sqm as temperature-controlled space and 1300 sqm for offices.

The structure will be surrounded by 4450 sqm of hardstand.

Primarily, the factory’s function would be to cut meat and create tray-range products, the company said in this 2018 item announcing the facility.

Some operations undertaken at Port Melbourne will also be moved to Ballarat, the business added.

The new complex is set to open at the end of the year.

Luv-a-Duck chose Ballarat for resources, history

A Development Victoria map, with legend, of the Ballarat West Employment Zone. The government calls the precinct “the engine room for jobs and economic growth in Ballarat.

Vaughan Constructions senior development manager, Chris Telley, said Luv-a-Duck was running out of space at Nhill and Port Melbourne.

The executive added that Ballarat was chosen based on the family’s history – with a grandfather, Charles Collet Shoppee, having been the town’s mayor on three occasions between 1891 and 1903.

Current Ballarat mayor, Ben Taylor, was at 13 Nettles Road, to mark the start of construction.

Luv-a-Duck was established 51 years ago by Arthur (Art) Shopee, the late father of the current owners, Theresa Sfetkidis and Kim Shoppee-Lynch.

When trading, the Ballarat facility is expected to employ about 35 people.

According to the City of Ballarat – the development will boost the local economy by about $16.7 million during the construction phase, which Vaughan said would require 118 jobs.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of