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Key appointment supports irrigation development in north-west Queensland

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on its promise to further develop the newest irrigated cropping districts in north-west Queensland.

Dr LanceMinister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leanne Donaldson today announced, as part of a $500,000 investment, the appointment of Dr Lance Pendergast to work with landholders and industry in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments.

“Dr Pendergast will bring a wealth of experience to this area and through collaboration with industry will deliver results for the agricultural sector,” the Minister said.

Minister Donaldson said the government had made water available to landholders in the catchments to establish irrigated agriculture and it was time to focus on optimising economic returns.

“This is an exciting time in the history of north-west Queensland with the birth of an irrigated agriculture industry that has the potential to generate multi-million dollar returns for local economies.

“Crops such as cotton, rice, mungbeans, chickpeas and sorghum are already on the radar, however Dr Pendergast will apply some robust research to these, and other crops, to develop a suite of northern farming systems.”

Dr Pendergast said over recent years he had established close working relationships with growers within Central Queensland seeking to achieve improved production system efficiencies.

“I’m looking forward to assisting northern operators with the challenges ahead,” he said.

Dr Pendergast will start work from his base in Townsville in early April.

The appointment of Dr Pendergast builds on the successful engagement initiated between DAF regional industry development staff and local government, producers, landholders and the producers of the Gulf Rivers including Flinders River Agriculture Precinct Group.

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