Ag sec­tor on Dar­ling Downs bounds ahead

FLA helps to cap­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­gion

The Western Star - - RURALWEEKLY - BRUCE McCONNEL Gen­eral Man­ager FLA

IN THE past month we have seen Toowoomba and sur­round­ing re­gions be­come the cen­tre of at­ten­tion for the state.

The State Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional Cab­i­net ini­tia­tive al­lowed FLA and TSBE to present all of the suc­cesses in the re­gion to the state min­is­ters and in turn, they an­nounced sig­nif­i­cant projects for the re­gion.

Projects par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant for the food and ag sec­tor were the an­nounce­ment of Mort & Co’s Grass­dale ex­pan­sion to 80,000 head of cat­tle, with as­so­ci­ated gas-fired power sta­tion and fer­tiliser man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, a boost to ru­ral fire­fight­ing ser­vices and the $7.0m Ru­ral Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence as part of the TAFE Queens­land, Toowoomba cam­pus redevelopment.

This last an­nounce­ment is a sig­nif­i­cant game changer.

This will give the re­gion the abil­ity to build in­dus­tryrel­e­vant, up-to-date vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses to pre­pare em­ploy­ees for the new and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies com­ing to our re­gion and a scale not seen else­where in Aus­tralia.

In terms of what those new tech­nolo­gies will be, Food Lead­ers Aus­tralia will bring them to the re­gion on Novem­ber 21.

The bright­est in­no­va­tors and en­trepreneurs will be show­cased at the an­nual 400M Food and Ag In­no­va­tion Fo­rum.

Now in its third year, the fo­rum is set to con­tinue to grow and im­prove the in­ge­nu­ity and pros­per­ity of the re­gion.

We are on the cusp of an ideas boom, and the fu­ture of agri­cul­ture lies in the de­vel­op­ment and ac­cep­tance of new sys­tems and

❝The bright­est in­no­va­tors and en­trepreneurs will be show­cased at the an­nual 400M Food and Ag In­no­va­tion Fo­rum. — Bruce McCon­nell

tech­nolo­gies to stream­line ev­ery as­pect of pro­duc­tion and sup­ply, which is why 400M Food and Ag In­no­va­tion Fo­rum is there to set the scene, to cap­ture the op­por­tu­ni­ties that are pre­sent­ing them­selves in the re­gion. This year’s event has ad­vanced to in­clude new food tech­nolo­gies al­low­ing par­tic­i­pants to sam­ple new food sys­tems, such as Freeze Dried In­dus­tries show­cas­ing their prod­uct range and At­mos­blue pro­vid­ing the event wa­ter straight from the hu­mid­ity in the air. Other pre­sen­ta­tions this year will in­clude new data anal­y­sis for pro­duc­ers, an­i­mal track­ing ear tags, new drone de­signs, and vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity train­ing sys­tems.

We’re also pleased to wel­come the head of Vir­gin Startup, Ian Ma­son, from Lon­don, to bring a global per­spec­tive to the event whilst also hear­ing from Tel­stra on its new in­vest­ment in the re­gion and how that will en­able large-scale de­vel­op­ment in a new dig­i­tal ecosys­tem.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the 400M Food and Ag In­no­va­tion Fo­rum, visit www.tsbe.com .au/400m or call on

(07) 4639 4600.

PHOTO: RE­BECCA GE­ORGE

FOOD LEAD­ERS: Toowoomba and sur­round­ing re­gions have seen many de­vel­op­ments in food and agri­cul­ture in the past month.

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