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.
A beloved goanna sculpture that was stolen from Nathalia’s Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre last month has been found in Tongala.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Shaun Atkins’ 32-point performance was quickly forgotten after the Echuca-Moama Pirates suffered their biggest loss on Saturday.
As expected the Rochester Community Recreation Grants Program launched last week has already ruffled feathers within the community.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Three major crashes in Moira Shire in less than a week prompts Christmas warning from authorities.
Winners of the ‘Deni: All lit up’ residential Christmas lights competition were announced yesterday.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
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