Central Highlands a highly capable agri-powerhouse

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Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner has welcomed today’s launch of the Agribusiness Capability Statement for Queensland Central Highlands, a booming region which is rapidly outperforming other parts of the state in terms of agricultural output.

“The Queensland Government has supported the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and the Central Highlands Regional Council in developing this important document, which for the first time provides an up to date profile of the diversity of the region and its agricultural activity,” the Minister said.

www.chdc.com.au/agribusiness

Central Highlands Mayor, Councillor Kerry Hayes said the Agribusiness Capability Statement was a detailed snapshot of local agriculture.

“It tells us exactly what is happening in our region and will allow all stakeholders, including investors, to make better informed decisions using the most current information,” Mayor Hayes said.

“We have brought together the latest statistical data and industry knowledge to showcase our commodities, our infrastructure, our resources and our people.

“Horticulture, beef and livestock, broad acre grains, pulses and cotton are all part of the regional mix, with the average value generated per hectare increasing at a cumulative growth rate of 12 per cent compared to 6 per cent nationally.

“Such growth rates are only achieved through innovation, collaboration, and an understanding of the markets, with two thirds of the produce from this region going to export.”

Minister Furner said the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) worked closely with industry and producers to maximise sustainable production and profitability.

“Understanding value and export chains is essential to recognising opportunities for local producers,” he said.

“To assist with this the DAF team is partnering with CHDC and, together with local producers, will conduct Paddock to Port tours in April/May taking in the ports of Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone.

“DAF has also worked with CHDC to produce a video promoting the diversity and quality of local products, which has already received tens of thousands of views on YouTube.”

Other Queensland Government support measures for the Central Highlands include:

  • $4.4M contribution to the $9.4M Yamala Intermodal Hub project for the provision of major upgrades to the access intersection and roads and a 1.5km rail siding.
  • $710,000 from the Strategic Cropping Land (SCL) Mitigation Fund invested in the SwarmFarm Robotics project.

The Minister said the Central Highlands were a vital component in the state’s objective of growing the Gross Value of Production of Agriculture.

“I look forward to further partnership projects with regional development groups which support our agricultural sector,” he said.

The Agribusiness Capability Statement for Queensland Central Highlands is available at www.chdc.com.au/agribusiness