LOCKYER Valley growers, through their innovation in agriculture, have the power to empower and influence the industry nation-wide, says Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz.
Mr Buchholz, who officially opened the Lockyer Valley Horticultural Innovation Expo on July 27, praised Lockyer Valley Growers Inc. for its initiative in hosting the two-day event.
“Vegetable growers from across Australia can and should take inspiration from what our dedicated local growers have done in banding together as the Lockyer Valley Growers Inc. and showcasing the industry through this expo,” he said.
“Aside from having the clear advantages of dark alluvial soil, quality water and an ideal climate, the Lockyer Valley has got an obvious strength in the hard work and innovation of its growers.
“This is an incredibly resilient community which has experienced significant hardship in recent years through the floods but has continued to serve as Australia’s salad bowl.”
He said agriculture continued to be the backbone of the local economy.
“The Lockyer Valley produces $263 million worth of agricultural output a year and my electorate of Wright produces close to $600 million worth of agricultural output yearly,” he said.
“The federal government, through my advocacy, continues to help the Lockyer Valley perform its best through allocating federal funding to help the council upgrade and maintain local bridges and roads and through major projects like the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
“We’re also working to help expand agriculture production in the region by allocating $770,000 to fast-track studies into using recycled water in the Lockyer Valley.
“This project will include investigations into redirecting urban outfall from Moreton Bay into the Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs. It has the potential to provide 100,000 million litres of irrigation water to agriculture and industry each year, with flow on benefits to regional communities and the environment.”