Regional Agriculture Forums – growing agribusiness in the North East23/04/2018
Agriculture is the region’s second largest industry sector and, largely through its high quality food and wine, is a significant contributor to the region’s growing visitor economy.
“It is not surprising that development of a regional vision for agriculture was the most strongly supported idea for innovation pitched at the 2017 Ovens Murray Regional Assembly”, says Michael Gobel, Ovens Murray Regional Partnership Deputy Chair.
In response, the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership hosted an Ovens Murray Regional Agribusiness Forum with 23 participants at Wangaratta in October 2017, including representatives from local, state and Commonwealth governments, Murray Dairy, Beechworth Food Co-Operative and Tourism North East.
Participants shared knowledge about what is happening across the region and agreed that Ovens Murray is well placed to grow its agriculture sector.
“We clearly have a unique set of competitive advantages that support agribusiness,” explains Michael.
These advantages include:
- high quality available land;
- ample water supply;
- a range of micro climates enabling diverse agricultural production opportunities;
- proximity to a national transport corridor;
- growing freight and logistics capability;
- a skilled workforce in production, processing, manufacturing and logistics that is further supported by a network of regional TAFEs and university campuses; and
- highly liveable communities.
In early March 2018, the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership also hosted a roundtable dinner conversation in Wangaratta with ten of the region’s larger agribusiness producers.
“It was terrific to have input from a range of key sectors including horticulture, wine, beef and dairy. This targeted engagement allowed for a deeper conversation about their vision for agriculture in the region and finding out where they see the greatest opportunities.
"I look forward to similar engagement with our larger agribusiness processors in early May and to sharing more information with community members at the next Regional Assembly and through our various communications during the year,” says Michael.