• The Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub will be supported by key nodes in Birchip and Mildura
• University of Melbourne to lead transformational drought resilience delivery
• An $8 million Australian Government investment, with $22m contribution from Hub members
Birchip and Mildura have been selected as key nodes and centres of regional innovation excellence to service the Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub.
Member for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster, said the new Victoria Hub aimed to transform the way that Victorian farmers and communities prepare for and respond to drought.
“The new Victorian Hub will be based at the University of Melbourne’s regional campus in Dookie, with five nodes in Birchip, Mildura, Mulwala, Warragul and Inverleigh,” Dr Webster said.
“That puts Mallee front and centre in the co-design and delivery of innovative projects and practices aimed at boosting drought resilience and agricultural productivity.
“Birchip and Mildura will also serve as a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that will benefit the whole Victorian agriculture sector.
“I could not be prouder that we’re putting practical research and boots on the ground to help local farmers and their communities to become more drought resilient.
“It’s no surprise, however. Mallee farmers are renowned innovators delivering premium agricultural produce that’s the envy of the nation.
“It makes sense that our local expertise will contribute to ensuring that research and development is delivers practical outcomes that ensure successful drought management in our communities.”
Dr Webster said the Hub would bring together organisations like Agriculture Victoria and farming systems groups such as Birchip Cropping Group and Southern Farming Systems to engage directly with farmers, traditional owners and agribusinesses and take on the challenges of drought.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Victorian 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.
“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.”
• The Victoria Hub 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.
• Find out more by visiting www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund/research-adoption-program