Cat­tle man is CEO for north

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

THE Co­op­er­a­tive Re­search Cen­tre for De­vel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia has ap­pointed its chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, with its Townsville head­quar­ters set to open in com­ing weeks.

The long- awaited re­search hub will fo­cus on the fu­ture of the North and look at key ar­eas such as trop­i­cal health and agri­cul­ture.

For­mer CEO of the Cat­tle Coun­cil of Aus­tralia Jed Matz will to­day be­gin his con­tract as the CRC’s chief, with the Can­berra res­i­dent to move to Townsville in the next week.

Mr Matz ( pic­tured) said he was ex­cited for the new ven­ture and be­lieved it was a “good, nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion” from his pre­vi­ous role.

“I’ve been work­ing in the beef in­dus­try for 10 years – the CRC has a very high fo­cus on agri­cul­ture and food,” he said.

“I’m just re­ally pas­sion­ate about what the north­ern part of Aus­tralia can achieve with its nat­u­ral ad­van­tages, it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue work­ing in that space.”

The CRC’s head­quar­ters will be lo­cated at 214 Char­ters Tow­ers Rd, with Mr Matz to be­gin fit­ting out the fa­cil­ity soon af­ter he ar­rives.

Mr Matz said dur­ing his 10 years with the Cat­tle Coun­cil he spent a lot of time in North­ern Aus­tralia.

“I will be speak­ing to the board about their vi­sion and help im­ple­ment that vi­sion,” he said.

The CRC, which was an- nounced in April last year, will see $ 75 mil­lion in­jected into the re­search hub over 10 years.

Seven board mem­bers were ap­pointed ear­lier this year, in­clud­ing Townsville rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Bearne.

CRC board chair Sheri­den Mor­ris said the head­quar­ters had been pur­posely lo­cated as an in­de­pen­dent of­fice.

“This is an in­dus­try- led ini­tia­tive, we wanted to be im­par­tial,” she said. “We will be look­ing to bro­ker and work with the science in­dus­try.

“We’re look­ing at projects around agri­cul­ture, food and the agri­cul­ture sup­ply chain – they’re the key points of in­ter­ven­tion that will bring suc­cess to ex­ist­ing in­dus­tries.”

Ms Mor­ris said it was “non­sense” the North was not ex­port­ing hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts.

“The North des­per­ately needs ac­tion to max­imise its po­ten­tial,” she said.

“We’re keen for the rub­ber on the road right now.

“In the next fort­night we are hop­ing to have it ( the head­quar­ters) fully set up, we’re mov­ing pretty quickly.”

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

NOT IN FAVOUR: Mund­ing­burra MP Co­ralee O’Rourke and Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper with Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk in pit lane at Reid Park dur­ing the Townsville 400 yes­ter­day; ( in­set right) Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil CEO Ian Mac­far­lane.

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