Article – MP says potential huge for CQ agriculture industry

by 16 June 2014

11 June 2014
Pam McKay
The Morning Bulletin

MICHELLE Landry says the time is right for Central Queensland to push its claim as a leader in agriculture.

The Member for Capricornia’s comments followed the release yesterday of the Federal Government’s Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

The paper maps out the opportunities and challenges facing the north and gives businesses, individuals and communities an opportunity to help shape the government’s approach to its development.

It sets six broad policy directions – infrastructure; land; water; business, trade and investment; education, research and innovation; and governance.

It looks at ways to harness the north’s economic potential. Priorities include growing tourism and energy exports and doubling Australia’s agricultural output.

And this is where the opportunities are for CQ, according to Ms Landry.

“Agriculture is where we need to move ahead,” she said.

“We have a lot of potential here and we have some really bright people with very innovative ideas.”

The region is already taking steps, with the Rockhampton Regional Council moving to progress the proposed Fitzroy Agricultural Corridor.

Identified in the Fitzroy Industry and Infrastructure Study in 2007, it covers nine parcels of land from Gogango to Ridgelands along the lower Fitzroy River, which were deemed suitable for feedlots and cropping activities.

Ms Landry said that CQUniversity was also looking to broaden its agricultural focus.

Submissions on the Green Paper can be made online at http://northernaustralia.dpmc.gov.au by August 8.

The Next Frontier

Northern Australia, broadly defined as the parts of Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn, spanning Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, is an area of about three million square kilometres with a growing population of around one million people.

55% of Australian exports were shipped from northern ports in 2012-2013 and agricultural production in the north was worth more than $5 billion in 2010-11.

By 2040, Northern Australia may account for nearly 42% of the Australian economy, with gross regional product increasing by an average of 3% every year from 2020.

Courtesy of the Morning Bulletin

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