A drought resilience adoption and innovation hub for Southern New South Wales

  • A Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub launches in Southern New South Wales in Wagga Wagga
  • Charles Sturt University to drive the update of new drought resilience technologies and practices, and build collaboration with stakeholders across the region
  • An $8 million Australian Government investment, with $11.9 million contribution from Hub members
  • This is one of eight hubs to be established around the country through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

Southern New South Wales farmers’ and communities’ preparedness and response to drought will be transformed with the opening of a Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub for their region.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Southern New South Wales Hub is one of eight across the country to be established that will support development and uptake of innovative technologies and practices that improve drought resilience.

The Hub lead, Charles Sturt University, will also 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.

“The Southern New South Wales Hub will be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.

“The Hub will be a ‘hub and spoke’ model with resources, including staff and programs spread throughout Southern New South Wales to capitalise on the members skills, assets and networks to generate drought resilience outcomes in areas such as water management, food security, farming systems, agribusiness, community building, regional development and environment.”

Federal Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Southern New South Wales Hub would be headquartered at Charles Sturt University AgriPark, Wagga Wagga campus.

“Drought can hit all enterprises in the region, with the powerhouse industries of livestock, wool, cropping, rice, cotton, perennial horticulture (including viticulture) all impacted,” Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said.

“The region is a significant contributor to our nation’s economy, with agriculture supporting thousands of jobs and many local communities.

“Farm production in the Riverina alone was worth $2.5 billion in 2018-19, accounting for 21 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production for the State.”

The Southern New South Wales Hub, the result of a competitive grant process, will support farmers and communities from Broken Hill to Cobar, the Macquarie catchment to the Hawkesbury, and all the way to the Victorian and South Australian state borders.

The Hub will bring together organisations like Farming Systems Group Alliance, Local Land Services, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Rural Aid, local Universities and the First National Governance Circle to work with farmers and communities.

The Farming Systems Groups Alliance is represented by Farmlink and include Central West Farming Systems, FarmLink Research Ltd, Holbrook Landcare Network, Irrigated Cropping Council, Irrigation Research and Extension Committee, Riverine Plains and Southern Growers and over 3,500 farmer members.

Fast Facts:

  • This is one of eight Hubs to be established around the country through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.
  • The Hubs are the centerpiece of the Australian Government’s $86 million Future Drought Fund Research and Adoption Program.
  • They will become flagship precincts for agricultural innovation.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will lead the
  • co-ordination of the Hubs, supporting them to become interconnected agricultural innovation precincts.