Kununurra’s farmers have received a boost with the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) approving a loan of up to $32 million to construct stage 1 of a cotton gin in the Kimberley town.
The Ord River District Cooperative, Kimberley Agricultural Investment and the Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation are working collaboratively to build this gin from the ground up.
The cotton gin will establish a new cotton growing industry in northern Australia worth an estimated $925 million and create 30 full time jobs during construction and 21 new jobs during operations.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said there is a lack of cotton gins in the region, and that building one will remove the need to transport unprocessed cotton interstate.
“With farmers, including Traditional Owners, working closely together with government, this investment by NAIF shows what economic development can look like in Northern Australia,” he said.
“The cotton gin has been talked about for a long time, and the construction of local cotton processing facilities will be the trigger for much broader investment in the region.”
NAIF CEO Chris Wade said the investment is part of the Government’s $5 billion loan facility for infrastructure projects across northern Australia and takes the total amount committed by NAIF to date to more than $3.1 billion.
“Supporting the establishment of a new $925m cotton growing industry in northern Australia is an example of NAIF helping generate transformational growth in northern Australia,” he said.
The NAIF loan is subject to customary condition precedent which include regulatory and environmental approvals.