FLA general manager Bruce McConnel, Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh and Western Downs Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith at the Intensive Agriculture Conference last week.
FLA general manager Bruce McConnel, Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh and Western Downs Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith at the Intensive Agriculture Conference last week. WDRC

Intensive agriculture crucial to region's success

LAST week's Intensive Agriculture Conference held by the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise found intensive agriculture was crucial to the wider economy of the Western Downs, and collaborations both within and across the sector would allow the industry to thrive.

General manager of Food Leaders Australia, Bruce McConnel, said intensive agriculture was a key driver of economic growth and employment throughout the Western Downs and Southern Queensland.

"This conference positions the region as an industry leader,” he said.

"This cross-sector collaboration drives investment opportunities and showcases the capacity of local producers,” he said.

"The opportunities being created with export both to national and international markets are also a huge boon for the high-grade produce from these regions.”

Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the Dalby conference's aim was to support local businesses and attract outside investors.

"With 68 feedlots and 23 piggeries within our boundaries, intensive agriculture is a huge growth sector for the region, and we are pro-actively looking at ways to continue its expansion across not just beef and pork, but also poultry,” he said.

"We have the space to sustain ethical, stress-free facilities and we have road connectivity to the Port of Brisbane, as well as Wellcamp Airport, which is already globally exporting chilled beef from the Western Downs.”

After a great response to the event, with more than 120 delegates in attendance, an additional conference covering agriculture will be held collaboratively between FLA and the council this year, with a focus on technological advancements in agriculture.