Manufacturing leads to jobs and the Mildura electorate has several exciting economy-growing project possibilities. 

Hemp Task Force Photo

Industrial hemp is an emerging industry and I believe the Mildura electorate is primed to be at the forefront of production and manufacturing.

Last year I was invited to sit on the Victorian Government’s Industrial Hemp Taskforce alongside Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Fiona Patten.

The aim of the taskforce is to investigate the potential for industrial hemp and identify growth and employment opportunities for the sector.

The Victorian industry currently focuses on hemp seeds used for food, but there are many other uses for the fibre including textiles, bio-composite plastics, paper, biofuel, oil and cosmetics.

The cross-party taskforce will examine the potential for all these uses. Our focus is solely on industrial use of hemp rather than therapeutic uses.

The taskforce’s first partnership was realised in June when SuniTAFE in Mildura joined with Australian Primary Hemp (APH) to conduct an industrial hemp-growing trial at the Institute’s SMART Farm.

It’s really exciting to see a trial such as this being conducted in the Mildura electorate and the hope is the partnership will lead to a locally based industry with a manufacturing facility in the region.

This would provide employment opportunities and economic gains for the region, as well as providing growers with a complementary crop.

LAST year, an Infrastructure Victoria report nominated Mildura as a prime location for a $10-$15 million recycling processing plant.

The plant – which would recycle glass, plastics and organics – would be a huge boost for jobs and could provide products like compost for agriculture while also reducing transport costs and improve other services.

Initial discussions have started about gaining funding for this important project.

THE Australian Pioneer Pistachio Company is looking to expand its processing facility in Robinvale.

Victorian Government co-contribution investment in this project would be a huge boost for our agricultural sector as well as being a job-creator for the region.

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