Adam Handley, President of the Australia China Business Council in WA, and partner of Minter Ellison (which acted as legal adviser to the State on the matter) said the ACBC WA was delighted to welcome KAI’s and Shanghai ZhongFu (Group) Co’s expanded involvement in the Western Australian economy. He said that investment in agriculture food production was already an important and growing part of Western Australia’s relationship with China and the doubling of the Ord Irrigation Scheme represented a huge opportunity for WA and China.
Western Australia accounts for over 70% of Australia’s total merchandise exports to China in 2011 and 80% of China’s investment into Australia over the last five years.
The following is the announcement from the Premier’s department:
“Thousands of hectares of land in the Kimberley will be unlocked for agriculture after the State
Government today signed the Ord Development Agreement with Kimberley Agricultural Investment
Pty Ltd (KAI).
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Regional Development and Lands
Minister Brendon Grylls today welcomed the agreement, which represents a significant milestone
in the development of the Ord-East Kimberley project.
Mr Barnett said KAI’s investment would create new agricultural land in the Goomig and Knox Plain
areas of the Ord Valley.
“The State’s own extensive investment and now that by KAI will foster sustainable economic
growth in the East Kimberley,” he said.
The agreement initiates a staged investment process worth an initial $200million, with KAI
committing to achieving significant project milestones over the next four years.
Once achieved, that will lead to a long-term lease over about 7,400ha of land in the East
KAI will construct infrastructure, such as additional irrigation channels, and develop and crop new
farmland which will eventually double the size of the Ord Irrigation Scheme.
KAI also has a three-year option to develop a further 6,000ha of land, subject to achieving
additional milestones such as Federal environmental approvals and an Aboriginal Development
“The State this year has successfully completed 41km of new road, a 40km extension of the main
irrigation channel and 86km of supporting channels and flood protection levees,” the Premier said.
“This has provided an injection of about $92million into the local economy across 82 businesses,
including indigenous ones.”
Mr Grylls said KAIs progress under an Early Access Agreement during 2013 was impressive, with
about 2,000ha already cleared and ready for levelling.
“Over the long term, KAI plans to create a substantial sugar export industry, diversifying the
Kimberley economy through the creation of about 300 jobs in both agriculture and manufacturing,”
“The Ord project is an excellent example of the progress that can be achieved when government,
the private sector and traditional owners work together”
See here to view the announcement by the department of Premier: Ord Announcement