Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Making Water Work program: Defining a Supply Chain for Lower Fitzroy

Making Water Work program: Defining a Supply Chain for Lower Fitzroy
  • Reference # A.7.2122006
  • Timeframe 1 year
  • Project Status Current
  • Location Rockhampton Fitzroy region
  • Total project value $382,000.00
  • Project manager Anthony Curro
  • Research Programs 7. Informing policy development
  • Water: Making Water Work program
  • Agriculture
  • Beef
  • Broadacre cropping
  • Strategic policy development
  • Supply chain development
  • Water


Providing water for irrigation is not enough by itself to guarantee agricultural development, as new enterprises rely on a complex web of services, innovation and infrastructure to justify investment. However, these requirements are not easy to predict, particularly for northern Australia where there are limited examples of irrigation precincts being developed.

This project will establish a vision and action steps to guide the further development of an agricultural precinct based on water resources in the lower Fitzroy region of Central Queensland. It will identify and map the potential for additional water resources in the region, identify potential agricultural uses and demand for the water, and then combine these analyses at a spatial level to predict the most likely precincts and nodes for future development. Potential supply chains to underpin the development will be mapped to analyse the depth of potential support. Investor analysis and engagement will be undertaken to promote interest in the region.

While the project is focused on the lower Fitzroy in Central Queensland, this case study has been selected with an eye on extrapolating the results to other regions across northern Australia. Thus the key focus will be to identify the domain of issues involved for water supply, development, supply chains and investment, and provide templates for future analysis in other locations.

Expected outcomes

The overall objective of this project will be to de-risk agricultural development in the lower Fitzroy and provide a more coordinated approach to development of agricultural precincts, using the lower Fitzroy as a case study.

The outcome of this project will be to identify the processes needed to translate the provision of extra water supplies into on-ground agricultural development. The project will have three major impacts:

  1. Identify and improve planning and coordination processes required to develop agricultural precincts in the lower Fitzroy. Measures of the impact here will be (a) the extent of engagement with key stakeholders, and (b) the endorsement of the selected precincts and nodes by the key stakeholders
  2. Coordinate recommendations to improve services and processes in the lower Fitzroy region. Measures of the impact here will be the extent to which the opportunities and constraints for development are identified and then prioritized for action by the relevant stakeholders.
  3. Improve information provision and engagement with potential investors in the lower Fitzroy region. Measures of the impact here will be the stakeholder feedback about the comprehensiveness of the analysis and summaries presented. The aim of the project will be to provide prospective investors with the base information needed to prepare a business case for investment, identifying opportunities and constraints.