4 June 2019

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, is seeking a suitably qualified individual or group of individuals to deliver a comprehensive plan to de-risk agricultural development across the Top End.

Key dates

Please note this Expression of Interest has closed.
Project start date: August 2019
Project end date: December 2019

Important note: The successful Applicant/s will enter into a Research Agreement based on CRCNA Standard Terms.

Background

This Northern Territory-focused project is part of a wider collaboration between the CRCNA and the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australian Governments to support the development of new agricultural activity (both in new and existing agricultural areas) across northern Australia.

The CRCNA plays an important role in ensuring northern Australia remains competitive, productive and sustainable through agricultural research and development. Along with the NT, Qld and WA Governments, the CRCNA is committed to realising the vision of the Australian Government’s Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. In addition to investing in research projects through its open funding call, the CRCNA also invests in commissioned research which examines strategic issues facing key northern Australian agricultural sectors and areas.

There is a strong bilateral and bipartisan aspiration in the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia to secure the expansion of agricultural development but challenges exist. Solutions to key policy, regulatory, budgetary and regional development challenges at the Commonwealth, State/Territory level need consideration, analysis, solution building and negotiated resolution. Given the existence of significant public and private investment interest in agriculture in northern Australia, but limited progression towards on ground activity, all three jurisdictions and the Commonwealth have agreed to work with the CRCNA to research improved approaches to facilitating agricultural development.

In this context, “agricultural development” is a general term related to a variety of agricultural or aquaculture expansion practices which create entirely new production systems, and/or increase the value of current production systems. Examples include the development of new irrigated and dry land cropping systems, horticulture, the emergence of new agricultural services and the intensification of cattle production. Agricultural development in northern Australia needs to occur in an economic, socially and environmentally beneficial way.

Through recent workshops in each of the three jurisdictions (NT, Qld and WA), a set of agreed priorities has emerged to jointly explore collaborative approaches to facilitating:

  1. The rapid (and limited) review of criteria-based approaches to prioritising development opportunities (inclusive of both new and existing agricultural areas) to help determine a preferred priority agricultural development opportunity to case study further research support;
  2. Within this priority agricultural development opportunity, a detailed case study approach will identify key risks associated with attracting investment, including data limitations, regulatory challenges, social and technical capability and infrastructure limitations. The case study process will document a pathway to development through exploring improved approaches to the way these risks are managed. This will involve the close engagement of key stakeholders to identify issues and solutions; and
  3. The exploration and development of new, innovative and appropriate models for coordinated brokerage of investment in agricultural development.

By focusing strategic effort on exploring issues constraining development in a priority agricultural development opportunity in the NT, this project will partner the NT’s Northern Australian Development Office (NADO) and partner agencies, the Commonwealth, industry and other stakeholders. Together, the NT Government and the CRCNA will explore the issues at hand and propose innovative and NT-specific policy, regulatory and other solutions to facilitate agricultural development and in doing so balance economic, environmental and social outcomes.

The project will partner the NT’s Northern Australian Development Office (NADO) and its agencies, the Commonwealth, industry and other stakeholders. Together, the NT Government and the CRCNA will explore the issues at hand and propose innovative and NT-specific policy, regulatory and other solutions to facilitate agricultural development and in doing so balance economic, environmental and social outcomes.

Another related project that is currently progressing aims to support Austrade to prioritise potential approaches in identifying, attracting and supporting key investors with agricultural development interests in northern Australia.

This second piece of work is anticipated to commence in mid-to-late 2019 and relevant findings will be shared across these projects.

More information

How to apply

Please note this Expression of Interest has closed.

Enquiries

Please forward any questions or queries to : projects@crcna.com.au