Growing Victoria - Partnerships supporting agriculture21/03/2018
Great South Coast Food and Fibre Council’s vision explained
With the announcement of $500,000 in State Government funding in late 2017, the GSC Food and Fibre Council has published an action plan to bring to life the food and fibre strategy for the Great South Coast region.
GSC Food and Fibre Council Chair Georgina Gubbins says the Council has key issues to focus on such as irrigation advocacy, energy needs and infrastructure, while one of its major long-term goals is to promote the wide and varied types of rewarding careers available to people in the food and fibre sector.
“There are an ever-increasing number of rewarding careers a person can have in the food and fibre sector and we want to show people strong and interesting career pathways and encourage them to study, work and live in the Great South Coast region,” explains Ms Gubbins.
Increasing the value and unlocking the capacity of the food and fibre industry in the region is another key goal.
Ms Gubbins explains that the Council wants to help attract new investments to the region and build a strong case for more public investment to build capacity, which will bring more jobs and growth opportunities for the entire community. The Council will look at new ways to untap the potential of future food and fibre products for the region, for example looking at forms of quicker transport to metropolitan areas which may open up opportunities for more crops such as horticulture.
Part of increasing capacity, she says, will also be about embracing innovation and new ways of working. The Council is keen to see how other industries and locations have embraced new ideas such as agri-tourism and how it could be developed in the Great South Coast.
The GSC Regional Partnership prioritised support for the GSC Food and Fibre Council and key sector development strategies following its first Assembly and Chair Emily Lee-Ack was thrilled when the Victorian Government funding was announced.
“Our Partnership listened to what the community wanted and told Government,” she says. “We are pleased that our work has assisted in amplifying the voice of many others who have advocated strongly for investment in food and fibre development in our region.”
For further information about the Great South Coast Food and Fibre Council contact Tony Ford, Executive Officer on TFord@warrnambool.vic.gov.au.
For more Great South Coast stories, you can read the Great South Coast Regional Partnership newsletter.
Climate Change Adaptation in the Goulburn Region
The Goulburn Regional Partnership is partnering with Agriculture Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and climate change and policy specialists, to support the Goulburn region to develop world’s best practice agriculture and climate change thinking through the application of climate change research and development on farm.
The Partnership was successful in receiving funding to undertake a detailed analysis of the operating environment in the Goulburn region, to inform further policy development.
The project – which has just got underway – will examine the situation of climate change in Goulburn, with a particular focus on agriculture and uptake of leading climate change research and development, identifying gaps and opportunities, and facilitating and encouraging practice change at the producer level and along the supply chain.
Home to nationally significant agricultural land and fertile soils, agriculture in the Goulburn region accounts for nine percent of regional Victoria’s Gross Regional Product, and is worth $6.5 billion annually.
Under current predictions, the Goulburn region can expect more days of extreme heat in the future, along with harsher fire weather, less rainfall and more frequent and heavy downpours. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the region, including lower annual pasture growth, winter chill affecting fruit and nut trees, and compressed vintages in vineyards.