A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $20 million to grow the AgriPark precinct at Charles Sturt University’s Wagga Wagga campus to build research and industry collaboration across the agriculture sector.
Nationals Minister for Regional Education, Bridget McKenzie, said along with investment by Charles Sturt University, the $37.5 million project will deliver an ecosystem where innovation and productivity can meet to grow the nation’s agriculture sector to a $100 billion industry by 2030.
“The AgriPark will have research and development facilities, collaboration and innovation spaces and shared accommodation for education and industry partners,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Charles Sturt University already has more than 18 industry partners on site collaborating on new technologies and plans to bolster manufacturing in the sector across the Riverina.
“Our investment will provide new spaces for knowledge rich agribusinesses, food producers, SME’s and researchers to work together to tackle supply chain issues and generate commercial outcomes.
“The upgrades to the Convention Centre will also provide world-class facilities for businesses and the community and attract international events, which will provide an economic boost for the region.
“The Coalition Government continues to build on its more than $120 billion investment in regional Australia – the engine-room of our nation’s economy – to ensure a sustainable, prosperous and secure future for people living in the regions.
“By contrast, Labor has no plan or vision for regional centres like Wagga Wagga. Labor Leader Anthony Albanese can barely bring himself to mention the word ‘region’.”
Nationals Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, welcomed the commitment and said it reflected the government’s confidence in both Charles Sturt University and the future of agriculture in the Riverina.
“The world class AgriPark precinct working with the private sector is delivering cutting edge research which is helping drive growth and improved practices in agriculture,” Mr McCormack said.
“I am delighted the government continues to recognise the wonderful work being undertaken at the AgriPark and partner with Charles Sturt University in a facility which places Wagga Wagga and the Riverina front and centre of one of Australia’s most important, productive and innovative industries.
“The returns on this investment will benefit rural and regional Australia for generations to come.”
Vice Chancellor of Charles Sturt University, Renee Leon, also welcomed the commitment.
“On behalf of Charles Sturt University, I want to thank the Australian Government for this significant investment in infrastructure for the University’s Wagga Wagga campus,” Ms Leon said.
“As Australia’s leading regional university, Charles Sturt is a key driver of nation-shaping agricultural research and innovation, especially in the Riverina.
“The AgriPark at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga is a unique ecosystem where innovation is accelerated to the agriculture marketplace through collaboration between industry and researchers.
“The new building’s state-of-the-art research and development facilities and shared office spaces will facilitate deeper collaborations between the University’s researchers and the 200 staff from industry and public sector partners which the AgriPark will house by 2025.
“With recent analysis by CSIRO highlighting a return of over $3 for every dollar put into research commercialisation and productivity, this investment will further cement the AgriPark’s critical role in helping to achieve the National Farmers’ Federation’s and Australian Government’s ambition for agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030.
“The upgrades to the Convention Centre will allow the region to host major conferences and events which will grow Charles Sturt’s already significant economic contribution to the Wagga Wagga region, currently $240 million per annum, or 7 per cent of the city’s gross regional product.”
The Coalition Government continues to build on its more than $120 billion investment in regional Australia – the engine-room of our nation’s economy – to ensure a sustainable, prosperous and secure future for people living in the regions.
Only a Coalition Government will continue to deliver a better future for Wagga Wagga, and this is part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.
More information on the 2022-23 Budget can be found at www.budget.gov.au.