Arris Blog

Collie futures – protected cropping prefeasibility investigation

August 1, 2017 / Agricultural & Environmental - Bruno Carrocci

Arris Pty Ltd announce today the commencement of a contract to explore the opportunities available to expand and intensify agriculture by utilising new resources and irrigation technologies around the Collie River Irrigation District (CRID) and Myalup Irrigation Agriculture Precinct (MIAP).

As part of the ‘Transforming Agriculture around the greater Bunbury Area’ initiative, the investigation will focus on intensification by seeking to combine high value horticultural crops with Collies natural and socio-economic assets built around coal and related industries.

Managing Director Jim Kelly, says Arris will develop a draft business case including a business model and governance framework to inform decision makers as to the viability of taking the proposal to the market to select a preferred operator to develop a business case. “This prefeasibility study is intended to provide industry with key pre-competitive advantages when it considering opportunities to invest in Western Australia,” he said.

Highlighting the economic benefits that can be used to attract commercial investment

“Identifying the potential of protected cropping technologies and systems that could utilise the beneficial factors of the Collie and the nearby CRID and MIAP areas, Arris will quantify the potential benefits to investors and the state. The Arris report will assess the requirements of potential facilities, the potential crops and markets for products produced in such facilities and prepare a business case for investment, highlighting the economic benefits that can be used to attract commercial investment.”

Arris’ assessment will investigate the opportunity of combining available, land, water, power, heat, labour and social capital to define intensive horticultural (protected cropping) opportunities for this region, specifically targeting Collie. Opportunities for intensification in the nearby irrigation areas on the coastal plain at CRID and MIAP, especially where scale and logistics require capitalisation to support domestic and export growth, will also be considered.

“Our strategy is to carry out a pre-feasibility investigation and evaluation to determine options, development pathways and risks for protected cropping opportunities in the Collie area and carry out a comparative analysis against other potential areas in the Greater Bunbury Area,” said Mr Kelly.

This pre-feasibility study will investigate options for a minimum scale protected cropping development of 20 hectares and include analysis of potential growth scenarios. A market opportunities analysis will be completed to identify at least four potential crops to be researched in detail. As well, a preliminary facilities and infrastructure plan will be developed to inform the economic assessment and financial analysis to provide indicative benefits/cost ratio, return on investment, net margins and social benefits for crop types and locations.

This prefeasibility study is intended to provide industry key pre-competitive advantage when it considers the opportunity to invest in Western Australia. It seeks to deliver the kinds of protected (intensive) horticultural business development opportunities being delivered in the Virginia Plain in South Australia. The goal is to define whether and by what means the South West area offers sufficient advantage to attract similar business development and jobs and growth outcomes.

 

The Arris Agricultural & Environmental team has extensive expertise in farming practises and can offer advice across all areas of your farming enterprise. Our experience and knowledge stretches across a variety of fields including: broadacre/cereal farming, horticultural farming, viticulture, amenity horticulture (landscapes, parks, gardens, sport fields).

Contact us today to find out how our team of consultants can utilise their expertise in these areas to offer you a range of services, spanning from on-farm assessment and analysis to more involved research and development projects.