Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project
With an investment of more than $515 million, the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project, is a key priority of the State government’s Royalties for Regions
initiative, recognising regional centres as the backbone of the Western Australian economy.
The aim of the project is to realise the full potential of available resources in the East Kimberley in order to create a vibrant, major regional centre.
The project will increase the size of the Ord irrigation area to about 29,000ha of agricultural land. This will provide major opportunities for growth and sustainability for the region’s economic and social development, in conjunction with the improvement of social, community and common-use infrastructure.
On 20 November 2012, the Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls announced Kimberley Agricultural Investment (KAI) as the preferred proponent to lease and develop 13,400ha into irrigated farmland under the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project.
Following finalisation of a Development Agreement that documents timelines, responsibilities and obligations KAI will lease and develop the Goomig Farm area, and progress approvals and subsequent development of the Knox Plain.
KAI proposes to invest up to $700million in the next six years to establish a sugar industry in Kununurra, to annually produce about four million tonnes of cane and 500,000 tonnes of export sugar crystal.
KAI has worked with Australian industry to develop farming models for the project and indicated it would offer sub-leasing and share-farming partnerships with Australian growers on up to 20 per cent of the new farmland.