water projectsFunding for irrigated agriculture projects in Northern Australia to boost farm-gate returns have started flowing via the $15 million Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment by the CSIRO.

Minister Barnaby Joyce says Northern Australia has huge potential for economic development, including in agriculture, aquaculture and mining.

The $15m forms part of the $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund announced in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

The funding also supports Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce’s passion for building dams to support agriculture and boost economic activity in the regions.

Mr Joyce and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said work was underway on water resource assessments of the Mitchell River basin in north Queensland; the Finniss, Adelaide, Mary and Wildman basins in the Darwin region; and the Fitzroy River basin in Western Australia.

“These assessments are designed to ensure that any investment we make in water infrastructure delivers genuine returns at the farmgate, increases the capacity and productivity of agricultural industries and strengthens regional communities,” Mr Joyce said.

“Northern Australia has huge potential for economic development, including in agriculture, aquaculture and mining.

“For example, there are millions of hectares of soil that, with access to suitable water resources, could potentially support irrigated agriculture.”

Mr Joyce said the assessments would help unlock potential by providing a comprehensive evaluation of the feasibility, economic returns and sustainability of water infrastructure in each of the regions. Click to read more.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. To speak at the conference have your say CLICK HERE to apply to speak. Speaker submissions close Friday 11th March.