John Wharton, Head of the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia, interim chair says he was ‘blown away’ after hearing from producers about the pace of agricultural development in Western Australia and was shocked to learn of farmers’ frustrations with land tenure.
Mr Wharton, made the comments following a consultation session with stakeholders in Kununurra on Thursday.
In an ABC News report he highlights the need to improve the pasture in Northern Australia and doesn’t know why it’s dragging its feet.
He says “We always look to Kununurra as an emerging food growing area that can feed a huge market north of us”.
“When you see the water opportunities that are here and they can’t access the soil, it really would be frustrating”.
The CRC was announced in the Federal Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australian last September.
It has $75 million to spend over the next 10 years and will focus on boosting the north’s strengths such as agriculture and food.
The discussion at Thursday’s meeting covered many topics including export protocols, water allocations, red tape and access to education.
Mr Wharton said he was determined to make sure the CRC delivered real results for the north in a timely manner.
The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential 20-22 June 2016, continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. Mr Wharton will be present as a Forum Chair at the Conference.
Underpinned by the Government’s Top Actions Summary identified in the White Paper the Conference will explore how industry, business, Government and agribusiness are embracing the opportunities for sustainable growth into the next decade.
To register your attendance at the Conference CLICK HERE.
Have your say at the 2016 Developing Northern Australia Conference
Speaking opportunities are available to interested parties wishing to address delegates at the Developing Northern Australia Conference, CLICK HERE to submit an abstract.