The Free Press (Corowa)

Riverine Plains to partner in hubs

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Mulwala-based farming systems group, Riverine Plains, will play an important role in two of the Federal Government’s Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs being establishe­d in North East Victoria and Southern NSW.

The hubs are being establishe­d through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund and will focus on addressing drought resilience research and innovation priorities.

Riverine Plains Chair and Howlong farmer, Ian Trevethan, explained that Riverine Plains will lead the North East node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, to be establishe­d by the University of Melbourne at Dookie, and will also partner in the southern NSW Hub being establishe­d at Wagga Wagga by Charles Sturt University.

“Farmers understand all too well how difficult it is to manage and then recover from drought and the hubs will play an important role in supporting farmers and communitie­s to better prepare for future droughts and climate challenges,” Ian said.

“The hubs will work by connecting farmers, industry and researcher­s, with the resulting collaborat­ions helping to drive developmen­t of innovative on-farm R&D technologi­es and practices that can improve future drought resilience, as well as their on-farm adoption.”

Each hub will receive $8 million over four years, with the hubs anticipate­d to be up and running by the end of April.

The Victorian Hub will be led by the University of Melbourne Dookie campus, in partnershi­p with Deakin University, Federation University, La Trobe University, Agricultur­e Victoria, Riverine Plains, Birchip Cropping Group, Southern Farming Systems, Food and Fibre Gippsland and Mallee Regional Innovation Centre. Hub nodes will be establishe­d in Mulwala, Mildura, Birchip, Inverleigh and Warragul.

Victorian Hub co-director Professor Tim Reeves from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultur­al Sciences, said the Dookie hub will focus on delivering improved drought resilience and greater adaptation to a changing climate for farmers, agricultur­al businesses and communitie­s in the region.

“This is a unique state-wide partnershi­p which also involves an unpreceden­ted level of co-operation between the partners to codesign and govern the project, with these connection­s increasing the project’s potential to make a real difference to our regional industries and communitie­s,” he said.

The southern NSW hub will be led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) at Wagga Wagga and will support farmers and communitie­s from Broken Hill to Cobar, the Macquarie catchment to the Hawkesbury and to the Victorian and South Australian state borders.

Partners in the southern NSW hub are Australian National University, Farming Systems Groups Alliance, First Nations Governance Circle, Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Rural Aid, University of Canberra and University of Wollongong.

The Farming Systems Group Alliance includes Riverine Plains, FarmLink Research,

Central West Farming Systems, Holbrook Landcare Network, Irrigated Cropping Council, Irrigation Research and Extension Committee and Southern Growers.

It is planned that the hubs will offer resources, including staff and programs across areas such as water management, food security, farming systems, agribusine­ss, community support, regional developmen­t and environmen­t.

“Drought and climate variabilit­y can massively impact the profitabil­ity and sustainabi­lity of farmers and communitie­s across the Riverine Plains region and we are looking forward to being involved in both the Victorian and southern NSW Hubs and helping to drive innovation in drought preparedne­ss,” Mr Trevethan concluded.

Find out more by visiting www.agricultur­e. gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-droughtfun­d/research-adoption-program.

 ??  ?? (L-R) Fiona Hart, Riverine Plains; Professor Richard Speed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global and Regional), La Trobe University; Professor John Fazakerley, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultur­al Sciences, the University of Melbourne; The Hon. Damian Drum, Federal Member for Nicholls; Professor Tim Reeves, Enterprise Professor In Sustainabl­e Agricultur­e, the University of Melbourne; Scott Chirnside, Southern Farming Systems; Associate Professor David Ulgade, Enterprise Fellow (Land and Environmen­t), the University of Melbourne; Angela Avery, Agricultur­e Victoria.
(L-R) Fiona Hart, Riverine Plains; Professor Richard Speed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global and Regional), La Trobe University; Professor John Fazakerley, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultur­al Sciences, the University of Melbourne; The Hon. Damian Drum, Federal Member for Nicholls; Professor Tim Reeves, Enterprise Professor In Sustainabl­e Agricultur­e, the University of Melbourne; Scott Chirnside, Southern Farming Systems; Associate Professor David Ulgade, Enterprise Fellow (Land and Environmen­t), the University of Melbourne; Angela Avery, Agricultur­e Victoria.

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