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Growing Fraser Coast's agriculture

HELP: Agriculture is a growing business on the Fraser Coast which has just set up an advisory group.
HELP: Agriculture is a growing business on the Fraser Coast which has just set up an advisory group. Megan Pope

GROWING the agricultural potential of the Fraser Coast is the focus of the new Advancing Agriculture Advisory Group, to be headed up by councillor James Hansen.

A former dairy farmer, Cr Hansen said the region's agricultural potential remained untapped.

"Agriculture is one of the main pillars of our economy," he said.

The region already has successful farmers - such as the largest free range egg producer (and) lychee farmers who make liqueurs, so we know there is plenty of room for diversification and value-adding.

"This committee will ensure that council gives it the attention it deserves."

At the last meeting, the council adopted the terms of reference to establish the group, which sits in the economic development section.

Cr Hansen said there were 957 cattle graziers, with fewer than 50 head, across the region.

"Their industry is worth $10 million to the economy," he said.

"Imagine if we could boost that by 50%, to $15m!"

Cr Hansen said the committee could help by getting people together and bringing ideas for value-adding to products, to the region.

"Maybe we can help get a farmers market going or help get small crops farmers together, under the Fraser Fresh brand," he said.

"The region already has successful farmers - such as the largest free range egg producer (and) lychee farmers who make liqueurs, so we know there is plenty of room for diversification and value-adding."

To get the ball rolling and bring all agricultural industries together, he said the Advancing Agricultural Advisory Group was created.

"The role of the advisory group is to discuss and investigate issues that specifically relate to primary production and agriculture within the Fraser Coast," Cr Hansen said.

The group will have 12 members, including two councillors, up to seven industry representatives, Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss and Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern.

GROUP ROLE

  •  Identify opportunities to develop and attract key industry sectors;
  •  Support primary producers to build on the region's competitive advantages;
  •  Encourage partnerships, business networks and alliances; and
  •  Attract and encourage investment and innovation to support jobs growth.

Topics:  agriculture james hansen