Senator for Queensland Ian Macdonald, the CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) and Townsville Enterprise Limited launched the “North Queensland agricultural market and supply chain study” today.

Townsville Enterprise Limited and the North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils have identified the need for collective industry action to transform North Queensland’s agriculture, production, infrastructure and export sectors to meet existing and future international market demands.

“Establishment of a long-term regional investment strategy and a multi-industry agreement is critical to ensuring that North Queensland’s agricultural and supply chain can access significant growth opportunities in the region,” said CRCNA Chair Sheriden Morris.

The twelve-month project investigates how the region is currently positioned within its capacity to supply and export internationally through initial market assessments, market-based production and supply chain opportunity assessment followed by recommendations and collaborative action plan.

“This information will ensure producers are well informed and able to make decisions that enable them to maximise production opportunities and meet future international agricultural demand,” said Ms Morris.

The study will develop a framework to assess future growth opportunities and define high value products in international markets. It will identify areas of improvement to market access, investment opportunities, clarification of where policy and regulatory barriers exist and will seek alignment with DFAT, AUSTRADE and TIQ agendas to allow export out of North Queensland and Northern Australia.

“There is continued growth in Asian markets for Australia produce and if we can identify opportunities that capture even a small portion of that the potential benefits are enormous,” said Ms Morris.

“The framework developed in this project to assess growth opportunities and define high value products in international markets, can be applied to any region of Northern Australia enabling them to undertake their own assessment and realise the opportunities within their region.”

The project investment is $475,000 however the potential impact of the study in additional investment and increased GDP will create multiplier effects in the region, creating jobs not only in agriculture but also other industries that exist in Northern Australia.

If North Queensland can realise a 20% increase in agricultural output it will inject a further $168M into the economy.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) is an initiative of the white paper on developing Northern Australia and is a core element of the Australian Government’s agenda for developing the north. The program is proudly supported by Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Government of Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Northern Territory Government Department of Trade, Business and Innovation.

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Media Contact: Jed Matz, Chief Executive Officer – (07) 4401 5035