Ag-Tech future for Bundaberg one step closer
The Australian Government has today re-affirmed its commitment of $5 million towards an innovative Ag-Tech facility to be operated in Bargara.
Speaking at the Hinkler Regional Deal Implementation Plan launch, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said “the Ag-Tech precinct is based on successful ‘smart farm’ concepts that have been implemented globally and across Australia. The concept will equip commercial farms with various sensor technology to form a regional network and data collected will support local producers by providing valuable information to improve productivity and contribute to ongoing research and innovation.”
“As a farmer myself, I know how important the rollout of new and innovative technologies will be for the future of agriculture across Australia, and it is exciting to see that Bundaberg will play a leading role in connecting the right technologies with the agriculture industry,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt highlighted the benefits of the future facility for the region.
“The $5 million committed by the Australian Government will help build and sustain a vibrant agricultural technology industry and provide the significant boost for industry to have access to information, resources and to improve the attractiveness in training and skilled job opportunities.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said the council has provided support for an AgTech facility and the Hinkler Regional Deal by providing infrastructure support to establish the facility.
“The Bundaberg Regional Council recently released a public tender to attract complementary ag tenants to the facility to ensure the success of the initiative that signifies our commitment to the Hinkler Regional Deal.”
“Council will continue to work with CQUniversity, the Australian Government and the agriculture industry to build Bundaberg’s economic resilience into the future,” Mayor Dempsey said.
Luke Sinclair, CQUniversity Australia’s Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Wide Bay Burnett region said that the development of such a hub would help to support CQUniversity’s work in the ag-tech space.
“CQUniversity is a recognised leader in the ag-tech research space and the development of this hub will help to support ongoing development and growth.
“Having such a facility in the region will allow the University to co-locate activities as part of our broader ag-tech, and provide the synergy for investors, developers, industry and researchers to drive investment, job opportunities and test new technologies, ultimately providing a competitive edge to drive economic and employment benefits,” Mr Sinclair said.
The new Ag-Tech facility was announced as part of the funding from the Hinkler Regional Deal. It will be delivered by the CQUniversity in collaboration with Australian Government and Bundaberg Regional Council.
It is anticipated that the facility will be operational by the middle of the 2020.