Tasmanian dairy industry receives boost

Tasmania’s dairy industry will undergo a boost to increase developments, with two new projects announced by the state government.

The projects, a $4.23 million injection into Agritas Trade College and a $1.5 million major upgrade for the Harcus River Road were announced by Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings and Federal Minister for Regional Development Simon Crean yesterday.

The projects will be focused in the north-west of the state and will be funded by the $120 million Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), an initiative of the federal government and Tasmanian government.

The initiative aims to diversify regions in the state impacted by the Tasmanian government’s decision to reduce forest logging to protect natural heritage forests.

Crean said the initiative will be a key step in diversifying the region.
“By investing in the dairy industry, through major upgrades to Harcus River Road and the new Agritas Trade centre, we unlock future investments and turn the regions abundant source of water into a driver of economic diversification,” he said.

The Tasmanian government wants the improvements on the stretch of Harcus River Road from Woolnorth to Marrawah to create lower value beef farms which will become higher value dairy farms.

The upgrade will create more than 200 jobs during construction and 135 ongoing jobs on farms as a result of the improvements, Crean said.

The Agritas Trade College, which has a focus on dairy, will become one of the best dairy skills training centres in Australia, offering nationally recognised qualifications in agriculture and management.

Almost a quarter of farm-output from Tasmania comes from milk production and the industry currently employs 2700 workers directly.

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