Article – Chinese free-trade deal opens door to exports

by 18 November 2014

17 November 2014 The Australian

TONY Abbott has won a dramatic increase in market access for ­Australian farmers, services and manufacturers in a trade deal worth at least $18 billion over a decade that maintains full scrutiny of investments by Chinese state-owned ­enterprises.

The Prime Minister and ­Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a memorandum of understanding in Canberra today on an Australia-China free-trade agreement, strengthening the nation’s relationship with its biggest trading partner.

Mr [...]

Article – Joyce jumps in on Lake Argyle

by 18 November 2014

17 November 2014 Brad Thompson The West Australian

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has given a strong signal that he will back State Government plans to increase the size of Lake Argyle to wet the way for agricultural development in northern Australia.

Mr Joyce said extending the Ord River irrigation scheme across the WA border into the Northern Territory was a top priority for the Commonwealth.

Mr Joyce chairs a Commonwealth ministerial committee on dams [...]

Article – Australian agriculture keeps about 60 million people fed

by 14 November 2014

13 November 2014 Kimmaree Thompson Northern Star

THE Australian government’s recently released Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper is filled with compelling farming figures.

The most surprising one is that China already has four times more cattle than we have in Australia.

The paper also reports that while Australia produces only about 1% of the value of the world’s agricultural output, our nation’s agricultural productivity feeds about 60 million people – double the Australian population.

With this [...]

Article – Food for thought at Darwin Convention Centre

by 13 November 2014

3 November 2014 ITCM

The pivotal role Northern Australia plays in the country’s future has been in the spotlight of late and will be in sharp focus in Darwin this week at a high level, multi-sector conference to discuss agricultural development in the region.

Agriculture industry leaders, government officials, engaged farmers, Indigenous thought leaders, researchers, and environmentalists are among a wide array of stakeholders convening at the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2014 to be [...]

Opinion – Ord Valley farmer Robert Boshammer’s wish list for developing northern Australian agriculture

by 13 November 2014

4 November 2014 Robert Boshammer ABC Rural

I think the five major challenge to successful farming in northern Australia are:

Clear land tenure Water security Clarity of governance processes Supportive infrastructure Background knowledge

The major challenge not mentioned here is having committed people, but as people are excited with the opportunities, these people will be in place if the other issues are addressed.

1. Land tenure

Security and clarity of tenure is vital if irrigation [...]

Article – Cuba seeks $US8B in foreign investment

by 13 November 2014

4 November 2014 Michael Weissenstein and Andrea Rodriguez Perth Now

CUBA has asked international firms to invest more than $US8 billion ($A8.66 billion) in the island as it attempts to kick-start a centrally-planned economy starved for cash and hamstrung by inefficiency.

FOREIGN Commerce Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz on Monday announced a list of 246 potential projects that would cost $US8.7 billion to build, from a pig farm to an auto plant. The menu of possible [...]

Article – Interest sought for development committees

by 13 November 2014

4 November 2014 The North West Star

BUSINESS and community leaders in the Kennedy electorate are being urged to put forward expressions of interest to join Regional Development Australia  committees.

Northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald said that RDA committees were part of a national network, made up of local leaders who assist in the economic development of their region, volunteering their time and energy to develop solutions to local issues.

“Expressions of interest are being sought [...]

Article – Licence granted to extract 54,000 megalitres of water from a Northern Territory aquifer over 27 years

by 13 November 2014

5 November 2014 Nathan Coates ABC Rural

A horticultural operation has obtained a 17 year extension to a ten year licence that will see 54,000 megalitres of water extracted from the Ti Tree basin aquifer in the Northern Territory.

PHOTO: Layflat irrigation system connection to valve and sub-mains at Territory Horticultural Farm, Ti Tree, Northern Territory(Peter Morrish, Southern Cross Farms) AUDIO: Licence granted to extract 54,000 megalitres of water from Ti Tree Basin aquifer (ABC Rural) [...]

Article – Northern farmers urged to start small if they want to develop strong industries

by 13 November 2014

5 November 2014 Lucy Barbour ABC Rural

Farmers in northern Australia are being urged to avoid expanding new industries and businesses too quickly, in order to better develop the region.

The 2014 Food Futures conference in Darwin has brought together farmers, politicians and researchers from the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia to consider how to improve agricultural output and tap into emerging Asian markets.

Director of the Research Institute of Environment and Livelihoods at [...]

Article – LNG exports to hit 80m tonnes ‘by end of decade’

by 12 November 2014

10 November 2014 Cindy Ngo The Australian Financial Review

With many countries in Asia moving to a cleaner energy future, Australia’s much talked about liquefied natural gas boom is set to take off with several major LNG projects about to come online.

“Australia has been developing more LNG capacity at the one time than any other place on earth has ever done,” Graeme Bethune, chief executive of energy advisory firm EnergyQuest, said.

He said Australian [...]