Diversification key to future success for Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday agricultural producers

A new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) study has found the Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday region is poised to take advantage of new agricultural markets while continuing to grow existing and established sectors across the region.

Kylie Poter portrait
GW3 CEO Kylie Porter

The Mackay Isaac Whitsunday regional Agribusiness supply chains report is the result of a 10-month collaboration between the CRCNA, the Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3), North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), Regional Development Australia Mackay Issac Whitsunday (RDAMIW) and Bowen Gumlu Growers Association.

Report author Acil Allen Consulting found the region’s strengths were diverse thanks to its stable climate and good natural resources.

GW3 Kylie Porter said this meant the region was well positioned to focus on growing its existing and mature markets of beef cattle and sugar while working to develop market access in new product areas such as better waste streams and growing high- value opportunities in other horticultural products, fish and seafood needs further attention.

“These opportunities can be strengthened by existing and underutilized assets, including improving road infrastructure, rail and port access.

“The study also highlighted the MIW location and how we are placed between North and Southern Queensland, which makes it a key node in the broader supply chain, due to many products travelling through the region. This makes an opportunity to collaborate across neighbouring regions as a possibility that can lead to increased export opportunities,” she said.

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said while the study focused on the opportunities for local MIW producers, it also highlighted the need for ongoing collaboration with other regions across north and far north Queensland as a way to develop scale and persistence in market to better capture and enhance current and future export and domestic markets.

“The CRCNA has commissioned similar regional supply chain studies in far north Queensland and for the Townsville, Ingham and Burdekin regions, which have identified similar barriers and opportunities across the sugar, cropping, horticulture and beef cattle sectors.  

“As such, we’re starting to work with these regions to develop a coordinated, regional approach to improving regional agricultural supply chains,” he said.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said he is particularly interested in the findings of the report, not only as the Federal MP for much of the MIW region, but also in his role as the Chair of the Federal Government’s Trade and Investment Growth Committee.

“Having a tool that allows our region to explore further export opportunities will be of significant benefit to our primary industries, and I thank the various groups who have cooperated in producing this report.”

Read the report here (PDF 3.14MB)

Media enquiries:

GW3 Communications Officer Fallon Drewett 0417 727 084

CRCNA Communications Manager Carla Keith, 0499 330 051