Gilbert River Agricultural Forum
About the Event
Etheridge Shire Council hosted the Gilbert River Agricultural Forum in April 2021, extending an invitation to all stakeholders and interested parties to take a fresh look at the region's agricultural potential. The main objective of the Forum was to explore the individual and collective economic benefits of agricultural diversification, specifically in relation to grazing, horticulture and cropping in the Gilbert River Catchment. Council supports the benefits of diversification and the capacity to strengthen and diversify Etheridge Shire's economy as part of a nation building project in Northern Australia.
In May 2020, consulting firm Jacobs delivered a detailed business case for the Gilbert River Irrigation Project to Council that identified promising opportunities for a large scale irrigation project. This, along with updates regarding the dryland cropping avenues that are already proving lucrative were presented at the Forum.
The focus of the Forum was to present primary producers and key stakeholders with information around the opportunites for economic diversification. Council recognises that the grazing industry is the backbone of our region, and the introduction of a horticulture and rotational cropping industry in conjunction with additional water allocations will ensure the long term expanded future of the Shire. There are some local challenges, and it is Council's utmost belief that the decisions made by our primary producers regarding the opportunities presented to them at this Forum will shape the trajectory of our region's economy for future generations.