On Thursday 2 November 2017 CWFS hosted an event for an announcement by Dr Steve Jefferies, Managing Director of GRDC and Federal MP Mark Coulton, of a $380,000 infrastructure grant for the CWFS Research Innovation Hub (formerly known as LIRAC).
The development of the CWFS Research Innovation Hub will provide employment opportunities in regional NSW. New programs and research opportunities will bring skilled agriculturists to Condobolin to work with local agribusinesses increasing the level of local employment. The Research Innovation Hub will attract students, entrepreneurs and agricultural professionals to the region providing a key role in upskilling the regional workforce. Further, the outcomes from research conducted at the Research Innovation Hub will support the agriculture sector providing productivity gains and support through changing environmental conditions.
Support for the Project has been received from GRDC, Regional Development Australia Central West, Lachlan Shire Council, Penrith City Council, Condobolin Aboriginal Lands Council, Western Sydney University, Sydney University (Hydrology and Resource Management; Soils), Lachlan Valley Water, Irrigated Research & Extension Committee, Graham Centre of Excellence (Charles Sturt University & NSW DPI), CSIRO, Irrigated Cropping Council, Southern Growers. This facility will be a partner across the various irrigation valleys and value add to irrigation Research Development and Extension. This exciting project has already commenced with a pad already laid by local contractors Ross Brothers Excavations for a new laboratory and research facility to be constructed by May 2018.
This new facility supports the important plant breeding work being done at the Research Hub by Dr Neil Fettell, CSIRO, DOW AgroSciences and various universities.
The site is critical because of the ability to irrigate important trials to harvest if needed in dry years so as not to lose valuable genetic material (both irrigated and dryland).
Thanks to CWFS CEO Diana Parsons, Dr Neil Fettell and CWFS Executive and local grower Graham McDonald for their hard work in making this a reality. This new Research Innovation Hub will be a boon for local growers, students and the community as a whole.