Our role in the Flinders Gilbert development

The Queensland Government is committed to the support of commercial agricultural development in both the Flinders and Gilbert River catchments.

The Department has developed a project delivery framework for describing its role in the development of the Flinders Gilbert agricultural zone.

Our role has received broad acceptance with the community, potential growers and our partners in the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy (NQIAS).

This project delivery methodology utilizes our development, extension and research strengths. It builds on our regional presence and strong community and industry engagement capabilities to support new and green-field industry and regional development in the Flinders and Gilbert River catchments. We will do this by assisting emerging industry sectors and associated agribusiness support services, to continue the industry and regional development activities, and so fully realise the potential that has been identified.

The project is structured around 3 key components:

  1. Developing investor confidence
  2. Developing technical capability
  3. Unlocking the regional potential

Developing investor confidence

Aim: helping make the investment happen

Target audience: producer groups and joint partners / investors

  • Successful industry/regional development requires investment at a number of levels. Although some investment will come from outside the region, local producers and landholders will carry the majority of the investment risk.
  • Banks, joint partners and lessees will contribute to this investment mix. All will be required to commit to significant levels of investment to initiate any development.
    Relevant, timely and accurate information is required to support these decisions.
  • The risks for investors will be reduced and confidence in the investment proposals developed, with the provision of timely and trusted information. We will develop and deliver this information, building confidence in making these important investment decisions.

Developing technical capability and irrigated farming systems

Aim: the technical support to getting the farms up and running.

Target audience: producer groups and agribusiness

  • In support of the investment decision of individuals, we will assist irrigated agricultural development by developing the capacity and capability of producers to implement potential irrigation developments and deliver on their cropping aspirations for the respective catchments.
  • Built on the back of prior research and industry development practice in existing irrigation and cropping regions, our development and extension expertise will provide contemporary production systems information and data on a range of crop and production types.
  • Utilising existing grower networks we will facilitate information and exposure workshops and forums to examine and understand Best Management Practice in relevant industries.
  • We can provide information on modern irrigation design and operation to ensure water use efficiency in all newly developed systems.
  • We will engage the emerging grower group through information events and current and newly developed on-line resources and tools targeting local issues.
  • Critical to the overall success is the development of agribusiness service capacity in the region. We'll seek to engage agribusiness service providers and provide tools and information to enable a more resource efficient delivery mechanism for cropping services in the region.
  • We'll seek to partner with commercial agribusiness and cropping expertise to help realise the potential of the region and obtain first hand commercial scale cropping information which will form the basis for broader industry development and extension strategies.
  • We'll also partner with other organisations such as CSIRO to make available relevant and contemporary cropping information.

Unlocking the regional potential

Aim: the big picture, focusing on the broader industry and regional dimension

Target audience: regional Councils, development organisations and government agencies

  • For the Flinders and Gilbert River agricultural development zone to be successful into the future, key regional development and supply chain issues will need to be addressed.  We have a strong role to play in facilitating engagement with industry and commercial stakeholders who can contribute to the broader industry and regional development dimension of the project.
  • We knowledge of the various cropping industries, their inputs, agronomic production and supply and market requirements enables us to inform and influence planning in support of agricultural development. Regional planning processes will include infrastructure requirements including power and transport networks.
  • We'll lead a Whole of Government approach to remove impediments and maximise opportunities for North Queensland development with producers, regional development groups and local government, building on the outputs of the CSIRO and DAF projects.
  • We'll be involved in supporting agricultural development in the region at both a practical level and in on-the-ground forums where water availability, the review of regulatory impediments, land tenure, planning for jobs and skills and community amenity needs are discussed.This component of the project will also connect strongly with the CSIRO project. The CSIRO will provide broad technically based reports drawing conclusions around the potential, constraints and issues they have identified for these catchments. Taking this research information into the tangible development frame will be a critical role for us.  We're supporting stakeholders considering implementing a mosaic approach to irrigated agriculture in the Flinders and Gilbert River catchments. It is anticipated that this scale of development will generate industry and regional level economic growth.

Please visit the Flinders Gilbert Agricultural Zone webpage for more information about the development of the Flinders Gilbert irrigated agricultural zone.