Cotton Australia has welcomed the announcement of funding for two programmes that will benefit growers. The funding is part of a $150 million funding commitment for feasibility assessments and construction of water infrastructure across the state.
Cotton Australia’s reaction came after Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today announced $650,000 would be made available to fast-track a feasibility assessment into using recycled water to expand agricultural production in south-east Queensland.
“We are very pleased that funding for such a feasibility project would be made available, given its potential to provide up to 100 gigalitres of water for high-value irrigation land on the Darling Downs,” said Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.
“Making Brisbane’s waste water available for irrigation would be a significant boost to farmers on the Darling Downs and the communities they support, and we welcome this news whole-heartedly.”
The cotton industry has also welcomed the announcement of an additional $60 million in new funding for the Federal Government’s mobile communications black spot programme.
There are more than 6000 mobile black spots across regional communities. More than $160 million had already been committed to fix about half of those, with the additional funding bringing the total commitment to $220 million.
Murray said that while the use of technology has made Australia’s cotton industry the most efficient in the world, yielding more per hectare on average than any other country, the power of that technology has been throttled by poor communications in rural areas, making it difficult to adequately process the extremely valuable useful data this advanced machinery generates.
“We welcome the announcement of additional funding to fix these black spots, which is a significant step towards the creation of adequate telecommunications networks that will benefit agriculture,” he said.