The Queensland Government has given approval for Gogo Station at Fitzroy Crossing to expand its cropping project as part of the state’s Land Tenure Pathway for Irrigated Agriculture (LTPIA) project under the $40 million Water for Food program.
Regional Development and Lands Minister, Terry Redman, said Gogo Station’s proposal to excise nearly 9,000ha from its existing pastoral lease could now move forward.
“The enterprise area includes 5,000ha of irrigated crop production with the remainder of the land being used for supporting infrastructure, buffer zones, access arrangements and the deviation of a portion of the Mount Krauss to Fitzroy Crossing stock route,” Mr Redman said.
“Gogo Station has been offered an option agreement, including a further offer of a four-year development lease and freehold tenure, subject to pre-agreed conditions having been met. This project has the potential to create jobs and economic opportunities across the region.”
Through a dedicated training program, the project aims to develop skilled farmers and technicians with future direct job opportunities including farm operations and product handling, while indirect business opportunities for the greater Kimberley region would include service and support industries.
WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said the approval reflected the importance of irrigated agriculture in creating education, training and employment for regional economic development.
“Initiatives such as Mowanjum and Gogo stations demonstrate the many benefits and sustainable growth achievable through partnerships between the State Government, private developers and Aboriginal communities,” Ms Davies said.
“Gogo had been successfully growing up 2,000ha of fodder crops for its cattle operation for several years under pastoral diversification permits and the now approved option to develop on a lease and convert to freehold title provides the basis for significant capital investment.”
Gogo Station consulted extensively with stakeholders and partnered with traditional owners, the Gooniyandi people, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding and a subsequent in-principle agreement in 2015.
The option agreement enables Gogo Station to finalise and obtain all necessary clearances and approvals to proceed with the project to development phase.