- Sustainable cotton industry in Kununurra one step closer, with Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility funding confirmed
- McGowan Government laid the foundations for the facility with $4 million funding package
- Cotton gin could support more than 1,000 local jobs in first 10 years
The McGowan Government has welcomed a significant milestone towards establishing a viable cotton industry in the State's north, with the Kimberley Cotton Company securing funds to progress towards construction of a cotton processing facility in Kununurra.
The Commonwealth's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) board has approved a $32 million loan to the Kimberley Cotton Company to construct Stage One of a cotton gin.
The cotton gin is central to the development of a sustainable cotton industry in the north - with raw cotton otherwise having to be transported interstate for processing - providing the impetus for growers to increase production to provide the scale and efficiencies for a profitable industry.
The McGowan Government has long supported the initiative, providing land for the facility and $4 million towards a clean and reliable power supply and to assist the development of a business model, preliminary design work and approvals.
The State is continuing to work with growers to secure the necessary approvals for farmland that will support the development of the cotton industry in the Ord River Irrigation Area.
A recent study has shown a new cotton gin could create more than 1,000 direct and indirect local jobs in its first 10 years, generating $1.19 billion in cotton lint exports and flow-on value adding benefits from the cotton seed by-product as a livestock feed.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The NAIF loan will build on the sound foundations laid by the Kimberley Cotton Company and the McGowan Government, spurring growers on to increase production so the gin can achieve the scale required for viability.
"Our government has underpinned this initiative with a reliable, efficient clean power supply for the Kimberley cotton gin, using hydroelectricity with zero carbon emissions - increasing business competitiveness and satisfying increasingly discerning global market requirements.
"I commend the Kimberley Cotton Company for their tremendous leadership, tenacity and vision in being able to work together to create enduring job opportunities and flow-on benefits for the East Kimberley community."
Minister's office - 6552 6200