Bundaberg Regional Council administers a large and productive region of southern Queensland. The primary economic driver of the commercial hubs of Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin is agriculture. The strength of the local sugar and horticulture industries ensures that service industries such as machinery dealerships, irrigation specialists, fertiliser and agricultural chemical suppliers as well as agribusiness banks, all remain well supported.
Whilst the more traditional sugar cane production is supported by two milling companies (Isis Central Sugar Mill and Bundaberg Sugar), the more opportunistic production horticulture industries have seen massive growth in the region in recent times.
The nature of cropping in the region is generally complementary. That is, fruit and vegetable production fits within the cane production cycle and actually provides benefits by incorporating a “break crop” to stave off pests and disease and, in the case of legumes, fix nitrogen in the soil.
The stability, strength and depth of agriculture in the region combine to make it a prime target for investment, both directly into primary production pursuits or in terms of associated service industries or new processing projects. Underpinning the future of farming in the Bundaberg region is the water security offered by the system of channels and pipelines comprising the Burnett Water Supply Scheme, with infrastructure and supply administered by Sunwater.
Horticulture Production Growth (1980-2009), QDPI Figures
Tree crops have become a more significant component of local production in the last twenty years, with thousands of hectares of macadamia nut and avocado planting now in full production. Orchardists have identified the larger scale production available in the region, along with the irrigation capacity, as part of prudent business decision making to gain longer term efficiencies and commercial sustainability.
Furthermore, such ventures as macadamia production, with its mechanical harvesting, benefit from the very flat farming land availability. This is especially true when compared to the steep hills of Northern NSW where the crop was first commercially produced in earnest in Australia.
Click here to download Trade & Investment Queensland's Wide Bay Burnett Export Company Profiles, a report outlining many of the successful food and agribusiness operations in the greater Wide Bay Burnett region.