7165100-16x9-700x394AGRICULTURE, food and tropical health are the focus of the new $75m Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for developing Northern Australia, according to its interim chair, John Wharton.

Mr Wharton, who is also mayor of Richmond Shire, was speaking on Tuesday at the CRC’s Cloncurry consultation session on a tour of towns across Northern Australia.

The idea of the CRC came out of the government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and will assist businesses, governments and researchers identify opportunities for growth in the north.

Mr Wharton said the CRC would build on expertise and networks to identify areas where collaborative research could deliver commercial opportunities to benefit northern Australia.

“We want to know the key challenges faced by industry in the region which may be solved through collaborative research,” Mr Wharton said

“This is an opportunity for our region if we are innovative.”

Mr Wharton said he had been involved in a lot of economic development in his nine years as mayor of Richmond and he was looking forward to hearing good ideas in agriculture, food and tropical health.

“This money will go straight to a business in one of those industries that needs the research capacity, has a business plan and wants to move on something that improves the bottom line,” he said.

“(This CRC) won’t deal with infrastructure like roads and ports but we can take it on board and refer it to the relevant minister in Canberra. To read more click here.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential will be held 20-22 June 2016. The Conference continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. To register for the conference click here.

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