A housing village near Warrnambool's Midfield Meat plant is on the drawing board which will create accommodation for about 100 workers.
The first stage of the Merrivale project includes modern cabin-style accommodation as well as facilities such as kitchens, laundrettes, basketball courts and a gym.
Midfield project manager Malerie Janes said the project, which would cost millions, would be "like a Big4 caravan park for workers but there would be no caravans".
There would be an on-site manager and 24-hour security in the gated community which stretches across about 12 acres off Eccles Street.
A geothermal recovery pool is also a possibility in the final design of the project which would feature native flora and fauna, Ms Janes said.
The company said the project would free up rental accommodation and make an impact on housing affordability across Warrnambool.
It would also allow Midfield to then re-instate its second shift which would bring another 500 direct and indirect skilled jobs to the region. That number includes not just more Midfield workers, but also jobs in the construction phase and across transport and other industries.
"We're hoping it eases some of the pressure on housing and boosts the local economy," Ms Janes said.
The project is currently before the state government's Planning Minister Planning Richard Wynne for consideration.
Ms Janes said Midfield was ready to start work on the project if it was approved, and it could be completed by the end of the year.
About 90 pre-constructed cabins would be moved to the site to house singles and couples.
"This is not permanent accommodation for them. It is a stepping stone to integrate into the community. It's so they can immediately come here and take their time finding a more permanent solution," she said.
Operations manager Matt Fisher said Midfield hoped that creating affordable accommodation would be a point of difference to attract workers to Warrnambool. The first stage of the project would be the biggest of four stages, but any plan to start on the other three to potentially accommodate 300 more workers were dependent on need and success of the first.
"The village will give employees the opportunity to live in an affordable, secure location close to their place of employment and local attractions," Ms Janes said.
"It will be built in a way that will shift the living circumstances from share housing, that sees up to 10 people sharing a single dwelling, to individual units able to sleep one person or two people and those who are in a relationship.
"This will increase quality of life for the employees whilst also significantly improving their health and well-being. The reality of having lived through COVID highlights how important this is."
Ms Janes said the company was committed to sourcing all materials and labour from Victorian-owned and operated businesses and was working with Regional Development Victoria.
She said the cabins were temporary and could be removed as quickly as they were put in and the Midfield-funded proposal was a "win-win" for the community.
Midfield has established an inquiry email service for the community to ask questions or comment about the proposed development via firstname.lastname@example.org
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.