FLA GM Bruce McConnel on regional change in Spring
Monday, 09 October 2017
Spring has now sprung and fingers are crossed the change in season will bring some much-needed rain around the regions. But whilst we struggle with the current dry I believe it’s prudent to look at some great work being done throughout the regions to support the growth of the agricultural sector and its participants.
Whilst I’m sure we’re all now aware of the infrastructure construction occurring in the region, it’s exciting to now see private businesses ramping up their investments on the back of this road, rail and air spending. Oakey Beef is currently doubling their kill capacity, feedlot expansions continue around the region and Larpro are moving forward with their fresh milk plant. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
We are also seeing new investors moving into the region by partnering with existing producer and processors to accelerate growth. This includes new funding models to assist commodity producers and the more traditional equity partnerships. We are also seeing producers continue to build strong relationships with participants within the energy sector to diversify income sources. At Food Leaders Australia, we continue to ensure the region is across all of these opportunities.
Acknowledgement must go to the councils, in particular the Western Downs Regional Council, who are working tirelessly to ensure this growth in enabled, not stifled, by planning and policy regulations.
FLA is excited to be driving a number of initiatives that will further capitalise on the optimism and growth in the region. Recently FLA and our partner organisations were awarded the Queensland Governments ‘Advancing Regional Innovation Program’ grant that will see us bring the best minds and programs to regional areas in South West Queensland to drive innovation and entrepreneurship over the next three years. This will continue the great work of the 400M AgTech Investment Forum earlier this year.
It’s an exciting time to be in agriculture. As they say, “just add water”.
Article first appeared in The Rural Weekly newspaper.