Agriculture and Food
The Charters Towers region possesses a relative abundance of water and arable land. Favourable climatic conditions with good, reliable rainfall and sunshine make the Charters Towers Region an excellent investment prospect.
The well developed road, rail and port transport networks are just one of the Region’s competitive advantages, servicing East to West (Flinders Highway), and North to South (Gregory Development Road).
With a high demand for food in the Asian market the region sees itself favourably positioned for the diversification of irrigated crops with opportunities for Aquaculture along a fertile river system as a strong selling point.
Potatoes have been grown commercially in this Region successfully for many years. A wide range of crops including, Grapes, Citrus, Asparagus, Melons, Mangos, Heavy Vegetables (pumpkin, potatoes, onions), Winter and Summer Cereals, Grain Legumes, Sugarcane, Irrigated Pastures, Silage and Haylage are grown in the Charters Towers Region. There are significant opportunities to diversify these food, fruit and vegetable crops to include high value crops.
The Federal Government’s recent commitment of $54M towards Phase 1 of the Hells Gates Dam Irrigation Project on the upper Burdekin River heralds the arrival of a new era of opportunity for the Region. This large, irrigated agricultural and clean energy project is potentially worth $5.35B. The first stage will involve the construction of Big Rocks Weir; a major component of the Hells Gate Dam Project. The overall Project aim is to provide long-term water security and hydro-electricity for the Region, which could ultimately facilitate the development of 50,000 hectares of irrigated land for high value crops.