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Geoff Wedlock Innovation Park

These initiatives were developed by a group of forward-thinking Karara staff in response to an internal competition to come up with ways to reduce Karara’s environmental footprint and improve its operations.

This former farming property was purchased by Karara and named after the late former chairman of Gindalbie Metals, Geoff Wedlock.  It was designed to provide a long-term innovation development centre in the Mid West for mining and non-mining ventures.  It also assists Karara to achieve its community ambitions and provide alternative employment pathways particularly for the local indigenous population.

The sustainable free-range egg producing business uses a custom-designed “chicken caravan” that is home to 450 free-range chickens laying approximately 360 eggs per day, replacing more than a quarter of the eggs currently purchased, mostly from interstate, to feed the Karara workforce.

The chicken operation is undertaken in accordance with our sustainable farming practices and managed under an arrangement between the Mullewa Employment & Economic Development Aboriginal Corporation (MEEDAC) and Sodexo.  It is expected to employ approximately 5 to 10 part-time personnel.

Our environmental initiatives extend to utilising the chicken manure, which is used to organically prepare wheat paddocks for rehabilitation.  In addition, a portion of the manure is combined with putrescible waste from the Karara Village and processed via a bio-digester into methane gas for power production and organic solid and liquid fertiliser for various applications.

An aquaponics system grows fish, marron, fruit and vegetables for sale to Sodexo for consumption in the Karara Village.  This project has been in trial phase since early 2012, growing vegetables and silver perch. Karara has also been trialling whether a native species nursery program is enhanced by using aquaponics growth techniques.

Initial trials have been hugely successful and Karara now intends to develop a large scale operation, aimed at supplying the Karara Village with potential to eventually supply the broader Mid West.