Woolworths has unveiled its Heathwood Distribution Centre, 20km southwest of Brisbane’s CBD.
The 42,000sqm temperature-controlled facility will complement Woolworths’ current Queensland network, servicing 280 Queensland and northern NSW Woolworths stores with faster, fresher and more efficient deliveries of chilled and frozen goods.
The building is targeting a 5 Star Green Star certification for sustainability, which, if successful, will be Woolworths’ first 5 Green Star certified Distribution Centre in Queensland.
Creating over 200 local jobs during its construction and around 300 ongoing jobs for Queenslanders, the Distribution Centre has been partly operational since November 2021 to support Woolworths’ network in the lead up to Christmas.
“The importance of a strong, responsive and resilient supply chain has come into sharp focus during the pandemic and the most recent extreme weather events,” Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said.
“As well as strengthening our network capability, this new state-of-the-art facility is an important part of our ongoing commitment to investing in Brisbane – and across broader Queensland – to support jobs growth and help us deliver high-quality products to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before.”
Private sector investment in new infrastructure and jobs is crucial to rebuilding Queensland’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, according to state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Throughout the pandemic and again, during severe weather events this year, Queenslanders have gained a great appreciation for the important role distribution centres play in their lives,” Palaszczuk said.
“This centre will not only create local jobs – it will grow the supply chain here in the southeast and help to ensure that Queenslanders always have access to food and other essentials.
“At $184 million and three times the size of Suncorp Stadium, this is no small investment. Having the Woolworths Group choose Heathwood as the location for this brand-new hub is a vote of confidence in our community and a sign that Queensland’s economy is roaring back to life.”
At full capacity, the Heathwood Distribution Centre will distribute more than a million cartons of chilled, frozen and fresh meat per week. With the co-location and connection via an automated air bridge of Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Foods Australia, approximately 390 truck movements will be removed from Brisbane roads each week by consolidating delivery loads to stores.
With sustainability at the forefront of the build, the facility features 4,000 solar panels that will provide 100 per cent power for the site during peak periods, a discharge rainwater tank which captures three million litres of rainwater and gentle run off, grassed areas across the grounds and provision for electric cars and trucks.
Woolworths and long-term development partner LOGOS are also supporting the local ecosystem by installing native bee colonies on-site. Located on the border of neighbouring bushland, the bee colonies are cared for by a local beekeeper and contribute to the biodiversity in the area.