The new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub based in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales will receive an additional $2 million to establish a node in Armidale, to be led by the University of New England.
The additional $2 million investment comes on top of the $8 million already announced for this Hub, and was recommended by the Selection Advisory Panel due to the value that the University of New England can bring to this complex region with multiple industries through local expertise and capability.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said that the University of Southern Queensland together with the University of New England would oversee the co-design and delivery of innovative projects and practices aimed at boosting drought resilience and agricultural productivity.
“The University of New England node will be able to link to the Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Hub partners, bringing together farmers, farming systems groups, local researchers, industry and other stakeholders to take on the challenges of drought,” Mr Joyce said.
“Through the Hub, they will design and deliver innovative tools and strategies for Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales famers and their communities, boosting drought resilience and future proofing our regional communities.
“The University of New England node will include a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.”
In addition to the core sites at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba and the dedicated node at the University of New England in Armidale, there will be other regional nodes at Longreach, Roma, Stanthorpe, Lismore and Narrabri.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Hub is one of eight across the country to be established that will support development and uptake of innovative technologies and practices that improve drought resilience.
“Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs have come about through the forward-thinking Future Drought Fund – a long term, sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Drought is a natural part of the Australian landscape and these Hubs will play a critical role in helping farmers and agricultural communities to be better prepared.”