The McGowan Government has paved the way for a significant expansion of horticulture production in the Gascoyne region with the release of more than 270 hectares of prime land in Carnarvon.
Three horticulture businesses have been selected as successful proponents under the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative, and will be granted leases to develop six parcels of land.
The successful proponents for land are:
- Fruitico, a large table grape producer based in the Peel region;
- Durmo Quality Produce, a local melon producer based in Carnarvon; and
- 4 Ways Fresh, a South Australian company with horticulture operations in Geraldton.
The proponents were selected following a competitive open market process and have each been offered a three-year development lease, with an option for freehold tenure subject to completion of development activities.
The proponents propose to diversify and expand their businesses by growing table grapes, rockmelon and watermelon, as well as zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum to supply export and domestic markets.
The State Government has invested $25 million over the past 10 years in the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative, serviced by the newly developed Northern Borefield, which includes a 25-kilometre pipeline and a reliable electric power supply to deliver high quality water.
Existing growers have benefited from improved water supply pressure, an additional 1GL water allocation and the new electricity supply replacing high-cost diesel powered pumps.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Building scale of production in Carnarvon is absolutely critical to the long-term sustainability of horticulture in Carnarvon.
“New large growers in the district will help to develop industry leadership.
“We’ve worked hard to deliver this prime land to the market, and we welcome these new operators to the district.
“Together with the improvements we have made to the efficiency and reliability of the Gascoyne Water Co-operative’s supply network, we now have a terrific opportunity for the horticulture industry to expand and flourish.”
As stated by Lands Minister Tony Buti:
“This Stage Two land sale is the final milestone in the Government’s Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative, which will increase horticultural production in the Carnarvon region and assist in our future food security.
“Once operational, these three new business developments will boost production and expand domestic and export market opportunities for Western Australian fresh produce.
“They will be significant contributors to the long-term economic and horticultural strength of Carnarvon and the wider Gascoyne region.”