Opinion – Katherine Times

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The upcoming Katherine town council elections present a unique opportunity to imagine the future of the region. As voters, we have the responsibility to select candidates who support a clear vision for Katherine and its future economic development. This includes the important role that agriculture plays in creating prosperity for the region. 

Local councillors play an essential role in attracting investment to the region and enhancing the town for future generations. The long term growth of Katherine depends on candidates and voters who choose policies that promote sensible agricultural development. 

Agriculture has helped to build Katherine into the wonderful town that it is today and it can continue to enrich the town with the support of voters and councillors. The industry offers enormous opportunities for the Katherine region. Mango farms are expanding, investors are looking for more farmland and agribusiness are attracting workers to the region. 

$150-180 million is generated by agriculture in the Katherine, Douglas Daly and Matakana regions and this figure is expected to continue to grow. The emerging cotton industry will contribute millions of dollars to the local economy, the cotton processing gin is expected to create 88 full time jobs for Katherine. Additional sectors such as forestry will only further fuel the expansion of the Katherine town and economy. 

It is an important time for the town, agriculture is on the cusp of sparking considerable growth for the region. We cannot squander this opportunity to responsibly develop agricultural projects in the area. Sustainable agricultural development will help to enhance the town’s economy and deliver considerable opportunities for young people. 

Science demonstrates that new agricultural developments, such as cotton, can successfully exist in harmony with the environment. Farming will not suck our rivers dry or kill our fish. Science and environmental regulations underpin modern farming to ensure a sustainable future. Many local farmers are at the global forefront of sustainable and responsible agriculture. 

During this election, we must support policies that promote the agricultural development of the region while maintaining environmental standards. On the 28th of August, your vote will help to shape the future of Katherine, its people and its farms.

Place agriculture first and vote for sustainable, long term economic opportunities for the region.