FLASHBACK: Moffatdale businessman Joe Prendergast showed a portfolio of plans for the Dusty Hill tourism development at a Murgon Business and Development Association meeting in 2020

April 29, 2024

A $7 million upgrade to the Dusty Hill winery complex in Moffatdale has been approved by the South Burnett Regional Council.

At last Wednesday’s general meeting, Councillors were told Dusty Joe’s Pty Ltd wants to expand two buildings on the site and add two more.

The company proposes to upgrade the existing Irish Tavern into a 643sq m restaurant and convert The Cooperage into a 393sq m function centre.

It also wants to build a new chapel to be used for weddings as well as a two-storey café.

Councillors heard the company’s application for the project was initially lodged last May and had been “in the works” while officers examined the details of the project.

It will be built on rural-zoned land.

Conditions imposed include a requirement to build a two-lane bitumen road from the property’s entrance to the front of the complex.

The company will also be required to install a sewerage treatment system and create 245 sealed car parking spaces, including five disability spots and two bus areas.

It must also conduct an acoustic survey of the property.

The Development Approval has a six-year lifespan and is the fifth the company has lodged since 1999.

The project was originally unveiled by Joe Prendergast at a Murgon Business and Development Association meeting in 2020.

He said the development would be built in stages next to Dusty Hill Wines. Plans at the time included a brewery, distillery, underground cellar, 10-room motel and accommodation cottages.

In the 2021-22 State Budget, the project was allocated $1.8 million from the “Growing Tourism Infrastructure” fund, followed by a further allocation of $450,000 in the 2022-23 State Budget.

Dusty Joe’s Pty Ltd also owns The Goomeri Bakery and Joe’s Grand Hotel (Goomeri).

Joe Prendergast is currently facing a number of charges in Murgon Magistrates Court unrelated to his business activities.

A Directions Hearing on these matters is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday.

What the front of Dusty Hill’s main complex looks like right now … (Photo: Dusty Hill)
… and what architects propose it will look like after the redevelopment