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27 April, 2021

Drought resilience hub based at USQ

University of Southern Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie; Hub Director and USQ researcher Professor Roger Stone; and Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud at the announcement of the new Hub.

A Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub to serve Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales will be based at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.

The Federal Member for Maranoa and Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Hub is one of eight to be established to be established across the country.

Its purpose will be to support the development and uptake of innovative technologies and practices that improve drought resilience.

The Hub lead, the University of Southern Queensland, will also oversee the co-design with farmers and communities of innovative projects to ensure they deliver what is needed in the region.

Based in Toowoomba, the Hub will establish five nodes in Longreach, Roma, Stanthorpe, Lismore, and Narrabri which will mean new jobs in these communities as well.

 “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,” Mr 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 partner organisations involved in this Hub will bring together farmers, researchers, state government, local entrepreneurs, Indigenous groups, NRM practitioners, industry and community groups and non-profit sector organisations.”

“It is exciting for Maranoa to be included in this important research Hub, which will work to address local drought resilience and increase opportunities for innovation in our region,” Mr Littleproud

 “The five nodes in Longreach, Roma, Stanthorpe, Lismore and Narrabri are strategically located to represent a range of agricultural industries and will be a ‘shopfront’ with people on the ground.

“The Hub will bring together organisations like Beanstalk AgTech Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Ltd, and the Australian Red Cross to engage directly with farmers, traditional owners, agribusinesses and mental health services to empower stakeholders to co-design drought preparedness activities for the whole region.”

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