The Burdekin will play a key role in growing agriculture in the North as part of the North Queensland Economic Development Plan 2014-2031.
Burdekin Shire Mayor Bill Lowis said there were opportunities to significantly expand and diversify irrigated cropping in the region due to its natural assets.
“We have fertile soils, abundant sunlight and ample water to accommodate all crop varieties in the Burdekin catchment,” he said.
“Currently the dominate land use is for sugar cane and cattle and these industries are well supported with existing infrastructure in the north.
“With further expansion, such as the increase in land availability, water infrastructure and policy and suitable soils, our output could be greatly increased for expanded and diversified cropping.
“Projects, such as the duplication of the water pipeline from the Haughton River to Townsville’s Ross River Dam, are part of the strategic planning needed to support an increasing population in the region.”
Cr Lowis said the Shire, as part of the North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, wholly supported the new economic development plan.
“Anything we can do to improve the economic base of our shire and that of North Queensland’s has to be a positive for us all,” he said.
“With expansion will come employment, with employment will come residents and the more residents we can have the better the whole shire will be.”
The NQ Regional Organisation of Councils includes Townsville, Charters Towers, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and Palm Island.