A collaborative quest to grow, promote and realise agribusiness opportunities in the Central Highlands has earned a major State award.
The Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness (CHAA) initiative is the winner of the Collaboration category of the LGMA* Queensland Awards for Excellence 2018.
Led by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC), CHAA is being delivered in partnership with the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) with the support and contribution of businesses, industry, research institutions, and government.
CHDC General Manager Sandra Hobbs, Central Highlands Mayor and CHDC Board Director Kerry Hayes and General Manager Daniel Fletcher attended last week’s gala awards ceremony in Brisbane, where the winners were announced.
“At the core of the CHAA initiative is its ongoing engagement and cooperation with a wide variety and large number of stakeholders, so we are immensely proud to achieve recognition of this,” Ms Hobbs says.
“We cemented this collaborative approach at the outset by appointing an expert Strategic Advisory Group to drive the initiative forward and this award caps off what’s been a productive first 12 months for the group.”
Priority projects already delivered include the popular short documentary ‘Central Highlands Agriculture – More than you expect!’; last year’s sell-out AGTeCH17: Build it, Use it, Profit field day and forum; and the first Central Highlands Agribusiness Capability Statement.
Councillor Hayes says the award is acknowledgement that CHAA’s collaborative ethos goes well beyond pooling resources and expertise.
“To put the Central Highlands front and centre of agriculture as it continues to expand and grow in Australia, we need to progress collaboration along the supply chain and across agricultural sectors, rather than relying on individual businesses or individual tiers of government,” he explains.
“CHAA is about tailoring programs and activities to our region’s shared challenges, needs and communities of interest, and collectively working under the CHAA banner shows that the region is ready for investment.”
Activities scheduled for 2018 include this month’s tour of the Ports of Townsville, Mackay, and Gladstone for Central Highlands exporters and aspiring exporters; the AgTech Catalyst USA Mission to visit innovative companies revolutionising the agricultural sector; and HACK CQ to support entrepreneurship and the establishment of new, high-growth businesses.
CHRC Chief Executive Officer and CHDC Board Director Scott Mason congratulated council and CHDC for the award.
“Achieving this level of recognition from our peers in local government, particular after just one year of operation, is testament to the strength of the partnership between CHRC and CHDC and it’s a credit to everyone involved in delivering the CHAA initiative,” Mr Mason says.
The Central Highlands agricultural industry is productive, diverse and growing. From 2011 to 2016, the average value produced per hectare has grown 12 percent annually, compared to the national average of 6 percent.
Further information on CHAA can be found at chdc.com.au.