North Queensland’s agricultural industry set to transform
The Australian Government has announced a $250,000 investment by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia to transform North Queensland’s agricultural sector, stimulating jobs and economic growth across the North.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the new investment would support an important study to improve the agricultural sector’s supply chain and infrastructure to meet existing and future international demand.
It would be produced by Townsville Enterprise and the Northern Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils.
“This is an excellent example of the Australian Government’s commitment to the North,” Minister Canavan said.
“The CRC for Developing Northern Australia will invest $75 million over 10 years to support collaborative research.
“The CRC will provide $250,000 in the $475,000 supply chain project looking at how North Queensland agricultural producers can maximise production, and meet supply and demand both domestically and internationally.”
Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja said it was imperative that a long-term regional investment and multi-industry strategy was in place, so that North Queensland’s agricultural industry could access the significant growth opportunities in the North.
“Collaborative research is vital to improve the competitiveness and productivity of agriculture, food and tropical health sectors in Northern Australia,” Minister Seselja said.
Representing the Ministers in Townsville today, Senator Ian Macdonald said the agriculture, fishing and forestry industries currently contributed $565 million to North Queensland’s Total Gross Regional Product.
“By bringing together industry partners and businesses, the CRC for Developing Northern Australia expects to increase agricultural output by 20 per cent,” Senator Macdonald said.
“This means an additional $168 million will be injected into the economy, along with more than 1,270 jobs for North Queensland,” he said.
Senator Macdonald said Townsville Enterprise and the Northern Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils – consisting of councils in Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers, Burdekin and Palm Island – would work with the State and Federal Government, as well as private and university sectors, to conduct the study.
The project was expected to conclude in March 2019.