The region’s farming industry has hit the spotlight last week, with more than $50 million pledged by the Victorian Government for initiatives in the Goulburn and Murray valleys.TONI BRIENT March 12, 2014 4:10am
The region’s farming industry has hit the spotlight last week, with more than $50 million pledged by the Victorian Government for initiatives in the Goulburn and Murray valleys.
The Goulburn Valley Fruit Industry Growing Ordinal, released by Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh on March 4, contained the government’s 15-year plan for the Goulburn Valley fruit industry.
The package includes a horticulture Centre of Excellence in Tatura, a $16 million concessional loans package and a business planning program.
The 41-page roadmap document outlines ‘‘the current situation of the fruit growing industry in the Goulburn Valley, including opportunities and threats (and) develop strategic actions for government, industry and individual businesses’’.
The initiative was released alongside the Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Plan.
Announcing the plan, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said it would set out strategic approaches to leverage new industry, trade, investment and employment opportunities.
‘‘Food production and food processing have a strong future in the Goulburn Valley and this plan will implement a long-term strategic approach to manage structural change in the region,’’ Mr Ryan said.
‘‘The region produces 90 per cent of Australia’s processed fruit and has trade links with domestic and international markets, including expanding premium food markets in Asia.’’
Mr Ryan also announced the $5 million Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund open for applications.
On Wednesday, the spotlight shifted from regional production and processing to offshore distribution as Premier Denis Napthine released the Food to Asia Action Plan.
Dr Napthine said Victoria’s food sector would thrive in Asia as the continent’s demand for food increased massively by 2050, and stressed the importance of capitalising on Victorian food and fibre exports.
He said the plan would drive the trade ties with Asian markets and ensure the sector’s long-term growth.
‘‘By 2030, the number of consumers in Asia with discretionary spending will increase sixfold to about 3.5 billion people as demand for food increases exponentially,’’ Dr Napthine said.
‘‘We need to capitalise on Victoria’s strong track-record in international agricultural production with food and fibre exports increasing to more than $9.4 billion in 2012 to 2013, up five per cent on the previous year.’’
Last week’s announcements followed the government’s $22 million co-investment with Shepparton’s SPC Ardmona last month.
Disability organisation ConnectGV is having its fourth annual gala dinner fundraiser on March 13.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
Despite the cash-strapped Federal Government tightening its belt, Tongala Age Care has bucked the trend and secured $1 million for a significant expansion of its facility.
Vandals have uprooted trees along the Campaspe River, leaving Rochester River Reserve Committee president Paul Poort furious and devastated.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Ellen ‘Nell’ Farrell has exactly 100 reasons to celebrate, as today marks her 100th birthday.
The Free family were overwhelmed when stolen fishing equipment was returned to them on Monday night.
SPC Ardmona’s managing director Peter Kelly will end his association with the company when his two-year commitment to the job expires at the end of March.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
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