A centre for drought resilience innovation in Tropical North Queensland

A new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub based in Cairns is set to transform the way that North Queensland producers and communities prepare for and respond to drought.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Tropical North Queensland Hub is one of eight across the country taking a transformational approach to the way farmers and their regions can build their resilience to drought.

The Hub lead, James Cook University, will oversee the co-design with farmers and communities of innovative projects to ensure they deliver what is needed in the region.

“Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs have come about through the forward‑thinking Future Drought Fund – a long term, sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Drought is a natural part of the Australian landscape and these hubs will play a critical role in helping farmers and agricultural communities to be better prepared.”

“This Hub brings together a wide range of partner organisations including Enterprise Management Group, Sensand Technologies, Landcare Australia, Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, NQ Dry Tropics, Reef Catchments (Mackay Whitsundays Isaac), Southern Gulf Natural Resource Management, Sugar Research Australia, Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance, and the University of Queensland.

“These partners will engage directly with farmers, industry, traditional owners and agribusinesses to co-design drought preparedness activities for the whole region.”

Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said the Tropical North Queensland Hub would be based at James Cook University’s Ideas Lab in Cairns, with four nodes located in the Gulf, Mackay and the Whitsundays, Cape York and Burdekin.

“Drought impacts industries right across the Tropical North Queensland region including sugar, beef, aquaculture, dairy, vegetable, citrus and tropical fruit,” Mr Entsch said.

“The Tropical North Queensland Hub will be a shopfront for producers to access innovative technologies and practices, and the placement of nodes across North Queensland will ensure research and development helps the entire region to be more resilient and prepared for drought.”

Source: Australian Government