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HOT TOPICS IN AGRIBUSINESS Featured
06 July 2018 Posted by 

HOT TOPICS IN AGRIBUSINESS

Leaders unearth prospects for airport
RED DWYER
PROSPECTS for agriculture and food processing were “hot topics” at a government sponsored forum in Western Sydney – but potential agribusiness investors were not invited into the “tent”.


More than 250 local and international business leaders had been invited to hear of a range of investment opportunities in the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, an integrated economic zone surrounding Western Sydney Airport.
 
A greenfield site some 10,000 hectares is set to be a hub for aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing, education and research, and agribusiness.
 
The NSW Farmers’ Association had advised the government of 10-15 commercial food and agricultural stakeholders but none were invited, according to Ash Salardini, the association’s chief economist.
 
“That was a big blow – some of these guys are worth turnovers of between $4 to 5M and are ready to invest now,” he said in a Radio 2GB Rural News interview
 
“So, the fact they were not invited did not bode well but there will be other opportunities to bring them into the tent.”
 
The association, which has been working with NSW industry and government stakeholders to promote creation of a high-tech agricultural precinct linked to the airport, seeks to be involved in the precinct’s planning and not to have decisions “imposed” on it.
 
“I put the onus on the government to provide the right forum to get us all in the room to see what they are planning.”
 
“A once in a generation opportunity exists to create a massive ‘cutting-edge’ [500-hectare] fresh food precinct … to service both the domestic and overseas markets,” the association said in a report, Think Big Think Fresh: A Fresh Food Precinct for Western Sydney Airport.
 
The report recommended a $5M investment for a feasibility study to prepare a prospectus on the precinct.
 
The association has welcomed the subsequent announcement of a feasibility study, according to Mr Salardini in The Land newspaper.
 
“However, the association implores that governments engage early with food and agricultural stakeholders to plan for the precinct as it will be the farmers and agribusinesses who will deliver on this opportunity,” he said.
 
The 250-plus business leaders heard Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, urge investment in the economic zone, at the Aerotropolis Investor
Forum, at the William Inglis hotel, at Warrick Farm,
 
The Western Sydney Investment Attraction Office has been established, in Liverpool, to target investment into the aerotropolis as well as facilitating investment in the Western Sydney.

 



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