Sue and Mat Daubney’s Bannister Downs Dairy officially opened its $20 million-plus robotic milking operation and tourism centre at the weekend, with the pair cutting a special ribbon with major investor Gina Rinehart.
Sue and Mat Daubney’s Bannister Downs Dairy officially opened its $20 million-plus robotic milking operation and tourism centre at the weekend, with the pair cutting a special ribbon with business partner Gina Rinehart.
The striking building close to the South West town of Northcliffe was completed this year by Bunbury-based Perkins Builders, but commissioning of the DeLaval automatic milking rotary only took place in the last week of September.
The dairy is still building up to its 500-cow capacity and the full tourism capacity, including a cafe and viewing windows over all operations, won’t be operational until next year.
The building was designed by Bosske Architecture Photo: Peter Bennetts
Mrs Daubney, the 2010 40under40 1st Amongst Equals, said the new facility would enable Bannister Downs to produce milk at 5,000 litres per hour in a system that had been custom engineered to prioritise product quality in a more energy and water-efficient process.
She said she planned future dairies on top of this second one in the Bannister Downs portfolio because each facility was constrained by the time it took the free-range cows to walk to the milking station.
“The new dairy will enable us to take a bit of pressure off our existing facility that was really at its capacity, and also offer better conditions for the cows at both dairies by doing this,” Mrs Daubney told Business News.
Mrs Rinehart travelled to Northcliffe for the Friday evening event straight from the Pilbara, where her Hancock Prospecting and partner Rio Tinto had earlier that day opened a new mining pit dubbed Baby Hope that will help sustain production volumes at their jointly owned Hope Downs.
The new robotic milking operation.
Like the dairy, Hope Downs is converting to automated operations through the use of driverless trucks and other technology.