Project start date: March 2019
Project end date: December 2019

EOI closing date: 5pm AEST Friday 1 February 2019

Maximum funding available: $200,000

Research required

Stage 1 – Existing Northern Australia Opportunity

  • Review and summarise the existing body of work that identifies the agricultural land capability and development opportunities within northern Australia.  Datasets include (but are not limited to):
    • CSIRO Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA)
    • Austrade (non-confidential) reports prepared in response to Investor Information Requests
    • development policies and research, plans, maps etc. prepared by the Northern Territory Government, Queensland Government, Western Australian Government and the the CRCNA.
  • Identify distinct regionally-defined agricultural opportunities based upon assessments of soil, water, power, labour, logistics, land tenure, regulatory environment. Articulate the emerging development models for these regions.
  • Interview Federal, State and Territory Governments (via their trade and investment bureaus and agricultural departments) and industry groups to identify and/or confirm the regions which they are focusing on for investment promotion. Make high level recommendations on the broad range and potential priority for these investment regions based on the desktop reviews and interviews. 
  • Deliver an understanding of the market and market drivers for identified agricultural commodities or processed products and services and produce a broad demand assessment including protocols, trade agreements and trading history with major customers in prioritised countries or markets.
  • Identify a select group of agricultural opportunities (and associated development models)  to test “in market” with foreign and domestic investors and develop- appropriate content for each opportunity.

This work is a small but important part of the project, to inform the later stages of intensive consultation with investors. 

Stage 2 – Identification and characterisation of investors with an interest and demonstrated capacity in agricultural development in Australia.

  • Develop an understanding of the types of interests there are in undertaking development in northern Australia and their investment capacities.
  • Identify what agricultural sectors are of most interest, what regions are of most interest and finally the key investor drivers and investment decision criteria, in either choosing to pursue investment or not.

This may be done through a range of interviews, particularly within the investment community combined with desktop research. Investors are deemed to include both international governments, international and national corporations and mid-sized agricultural companies.  This latter group would include Australian farming enterprises located in both north and southern Australia.

Stage 3 – Development of an investor typology and investor target list

  • Develop (with a strong co-design approach) a criteria-based investor profile based on the characteristics of investors who would be most suited to developing the opportunities in the regions and sectors identified in the first component.  

The typology would include suggestions of key domestic and international investors to target, and explore suggested emerging strategies that might best be applied to progress investment attraction.

Stage 4 – Identification of information needs

  • Identify the additional process, supports, data and information needs of the potential targeted investors.
  • Collate what information is available and highlight what information is required by the investor cohort based on feedback received during interviews.  
  • Identify the processes and tools which investors require to assist their decision making.  

The desired outputs from this phase of work would include (but not be limited to):

  • investor appetite for northern Australia
  • drivers for investment interest
  • competing investment destinations
  • Northern Australia competitive position
  • time frames for investment
  • preferred investment models
  • key decision making criteria
  • product refinement based upon the above, where possible
  • success criteria – what does it look like and
  • short to mid-term strategies for progressing to investment outcomes.

Project outputs

It is envisaged that the project will:

  • deliver a strong typology of prioritised investor opportunities (or combinations of investors)
  • inform ongoing research and land assessment information development framework by the various northern Australia stakeholder agencies
  • Australian, State and NT government thinking in terms of development prioritisation and processing for de-risking priority regions for development investment
  • inform future policy and regulatory settings regarding northern development
  • identify immediate/priority investment opportunities (sourced within and outside Australia)
  • inform the northern Australia promotion strategy implemented by Austrade and State and Territory investment attraction agencies
  • identify potential Australian / international partnership models
  • connect all key players in the northern Australia opportunity
  • delivery priority strategies that support all governments in lifting investment outcomes and
  • provide an emerging information platform for ongoing connectivity, planning and collaboration by the various stakeholder agencies.

Overall the Project outcomes should enable the various stakeholder agencies to sharpen their focus and de-risk the regions and associated agricultural opportunities being brought to market.


  • Develop a methodology for outreach and analysis of findings for review and feedback by the CRCNA and Austrade.
  • Undertake a desk based compilation of the previously undertaken research by the relevant state government bodies.
  • Undertake a range of interviews with key stakeholders across Government, investor and industry bodies.
  • Present findings at a national meeting of stakeholders of the CRCNA’s choosing.
  • Develop a draft and final report on the results.

Eligibility criteria

  • Both the online form and the project financials spreadsheet must be submitted for consideration.
  • Each participant organisation should be a CRCNA member prior to commencement of the project.
  • Projects with higher cash and/or in-kind co-contributions will be considered more favourably.

View the Northern agriculture investor EOI form