Article – NQ’s irrigation potential

by 12 February 2014

11 February 2014 North Queensland Register

While thousands of hectares of soil are potentially suitable for irrigated agriculture across northern Australia, access to sufficient water constrains development.

A CSIRO study of land and water resources in the Flinders and Gilbert river catchments shows up to 50,000 hectares could be irrigated, potentially producing a wide range of crops.

The two-year, $6.8 million project, involving more than 100 scientists, has delivered an evaluation of the feasibility, economic [...]

Curtin, Chifley and Northern Australia 1944-1949

by 11 February 2014

11 January 2014 Kerriann Lock

The idea of developing the North is not new – on the contrary, it has been a focus of various federal governments over the decades. This article series aims to trace the history of policy development and implementation in the region, beginning with the 1940’s Labor governments of John Curtin and Ben Chifley.

John Curtin & WWII

During World War II, Australia’s national security was threatened by Japanese invasion. Air [...]

Article – Roy Hill close to $7b debt deal

by 11 February 2014

10 February 2014 Nick Evans The West Australian

The news comes as Roy Hill’s equity partners – including Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, Marubeni, Korean conglomerate POSCO and Taiwanese steelmaker China Steel Corporation – approach $4 billion in spending on the 55-million-tonne-a-year iron ore project.

Japan’s Marubeni Corp, which owns 15 per cent of Roy Hill, released its third-quarter financial results on Friday. Bloomberg reported that Marubeni chief financial officer Yukihiko Matsumura told journalists then that [...]

Article – Family farms could help northern irrigation expand

by 10 February 2014

7 February 2014 Virginia Tapp ABC Rural

A report released by the CSIRO has recommended the family farm drive irrigation development in Northern Australia.

It found the potential cropping area in North Queensland is three times the size of the Ord River Scheme in Western Australia, and points out more water can be drawn from major northern rivers than the Queensland Government currently allows.

The CSIRO uses the report to warn against massive scale developments, [...]

Article – Kenya earns 543 mln USD in 2013 from export economic zones

by 7 February 2014

5 January 2014 Global Times

Kenya’s Export Processing Zones (EPZ) earned the East African country $543 million in the last financial year, a government official said on Tuesday.

Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) CEO Cyrille Nabutola told Xinhua in Nairobi that the zones contributed 10 percent of all exports.

“The bulk of the exports consisted of textile and apparels and U. S. was the major destination,” Nabutola said during the pre- budget hearings for the [...]

Article – Bruce Davidson and the myth of a northern food bowl

by 7 February 2014

6 February 2014 Bob Gosford Crikey

Bruce Davidson’s contribution to Australian agricultural economics remains under-appreciated, perhaps because of his uncompromising approach to his work and a reluctance to accept the cant and dubious science trumpeted by the political boosters of proposals for a northern Australian food bowl that would feed the world and ensure Australian prosperity.

Bruce Davidson’s work is valued and valuable today. Many of the challenges that he faced down with [...]

Article – CSIRO report confirms land and water potential in Queensland

by 7 February 2014

7 February 2014 Craig Zonca & Charlie McKillop ABC Rural

A CSIRO study looking into the suitability of northern Queensland for agriculture has found crops could be grown on irrigated land on a scale three times the size of the Ord River system in Western Australia.

CSIRO lead researcher Dr Peter Stone says a comprehensive assessment of climate, soil and water has confirmed that a total of up to 50,000 hectares could be developed in [...]

Article – Talks start on white paper policies

by 6 February 2014

5 February 2014 The North West Star

THE head of the Northern Australia Taskforce in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet David Williamson met with the Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce this week to discuss the development of the Australian Government White Paper.

The white paper is expected to set out a clear, well-defined and timely policy platform for promoting the development of Northern Australia and define policies for developing the North to 2030, [...]

Article – Landry urges leaders to keep pushing for Fitzroy food bowl

by 6 February 2014

15 January 2014 The Morning Bulletin

MICHELLE Landry has urged civic leaders pushing the development of a food bowl in the Fitzroy to make a submission to a federal inquiry into the development of Northern Australia.

The Member for Capricornia (pictured) said she welcomed any project that would advance agricultural business in the region and create domestic growth, export opportunities and local jobs.

Ms Landry recently advocated bold vision to be restored to [...]

Article – Australian trade beats aid in boosting global food security

by 4 February 2014

4 February 2014 Robert Henry The Conversation

Should Australia aim to become Asia’s “food bowl”? How can we help farmers earn more for what they produce? And how can Australia best contribute to global food security?

Those are some of the crucial questions now being considered in the federal government’s long-term agriculture policy,which is expected to be released towards the end of this year.

I believe our future lies in playing to our [...]