In his first visit to the Darling Downs as new Queensland agricultural minister, Mark Furner announced a joint venture climate project.
The Northern Australian Climate Project will focus research on improving climate modellers of seasonal forecasts and multi-year drought predictions.
Mr Furner said the purpose is to build better resilience and productivity of grazing businesses.
The state government will contribute $3 million to the program, while a further $4 million from Meat & Livestock Australia and $960,000 from the University of Southern Queensland will also help fund the project.
In his first visit to the Darling Downs as new Queensland agricultural minister, Mark Furner announced a joint Northern Australian Climate Project focused on improving seasonal forecasts and multi-year drought predictions. pic.twitter.com/lBdmz5i6s2— Martin Bunyard (@martin_bunyard) January 17, 2018
NACP government funding comes from Queensland’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program.
MLA’s Research and Development manager Doug McNicholl said the new project will assist in improving the capacity of the red meat industry to manage future drought and climate risk across northern Australia.
“A key focus of the project will be improving the knowledge and skills of producers across northern Australia to enable proactive management of climate variability, which minimises exposure to environmental, profitability and productivity losses,” Mr McNicholl said.
“We are utilising a combination of innovative research, development and extension projects to build capacity across the red meat industry in northern Australia.”
USQ vice-chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie said Queensland has the highest year-to-year rainfall variability of anywhere in the world.
“Arming primary producers with knowledge of predicted climate will greatly enhance productivity and profitability in such a challenging environment,” Professor Mackenzie said.
“The program will bring together world-class climate scientists and drought specialists to help make better predictions of the season ahead, of multi-year droughts, and the start and end of the summer wet seasons.”