- State Government signs development agreement with Kimberley Agricultural Investment
Agreement will double the Ord Irrigation Scheme
State Government, through Royalties for Regions, has contributed $322.5million to support the Ord expansion
Thousands of hectares of land in the Kimberley will be unlocked for agriculture after the State Government today signed the Ord Development Agreement with Kimberley Agricultural Investment Pty Ltd (KAI).
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls today welcomed the agreement, which represents a significant milestone in the development of the Ord-East Kimberley project.
Mr Barnett said KAI’s investment would create new agricultural land in the Goomig and Knox Plain areas of the Ord Valley.
“The State’s own extensive investment and now that by KAI will foster sustainable economic growth in the East Kimberley,” he said.
The agreement initiates a staged investment process worth an initial $200million, with KAI committing to achieving significant project milestones over the next four years.
Once achieved, that will lead to a long-term lease over about 7,400ha of land in the East Kimberley.
KAI will construct infrastructure, such as additional irrigation channels, and develop and crop new farmland which will eventually double the size of the Ord Irrigation Scheme.
KAI also has a three-year option to develop a further 6,000ha of land, subject to achieving additional milestones such as Federal environmental approvals and an Aboriginal Development Package.
“The State this year has successfully completed 41km of new road, a 40km extension of the main irrigation channel and 86km of supporting channels and flood protection levees,” the Premier said.
“This has provided an injection of about $92million into the local economy across 82 businesses, including indigenous ones.”
Mr Grylls said KAI’s progress under an Early Access Agreement during 2013 was impressive, with about 2,000ha already cleared and ready for levelling.
“Over the long term, KAI plans to create a substantial sugar export industry, diversifying the Kimberley economy through the creation of about 300 jobs in both agriculture and manufacturing,” he said.
“The Ord project is an excellent example of the progress that can be achieved when government, the private sector and traditional owners work together.
“This is the biggest agricultural development in the Kimberley in more than 40 years.”
KAI is an Australian company wholly owned by Shanghai Zhongfu (Group) Co, whose parent company is major Chinese construction group Shanghai Zhongfu Real Estate Co
Under the agreement, KAI is required to construct on-farm infrastructure and develop and crop farmland to secure a 50-year lease over 7,400ha of Goomig land
There is also a three-year option to develop a further 6,000ha, once Federal environmental approvals and an Aboriginal Development Package are finalised
KAI was named as the State’s Preferred Proponent in November 2012
Premier’s office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 5500