Grain Producers Australia welcomes news that the Federal Government is directing public funding to support a future increase in local fertiliser production capacity and supply in Australia.
It was announced today that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has committed $255 million for critical infrastructure supporting the Perdaman Urea Project in Western Australia’s north.
The $4.3 billion project is aiming to convert Australian gas into approximately 2 million tonnes of urea per year which Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says will deliver capacity to meet 96 per cent of Australia’s current imports of around 2.4 million tonnes, for agricultural use.
GPA also welcomes news that Leigh Creek Energy Limited has today announced to the ASX that its Carbon Neutral from 2022 status has been confirmed, GPA Chair and WA producer Barry Large said.
“GPA’s State Members have identified the urgent need for governments to increase their strategic policy focus and investment in local manufacturing of key farm inputs, to secure greater local supply so Australian grain producers can better manage production cost-risks and remain viable,” he said.
“Whilst $100 billion is being set as a future projected target for the estimated value of Australian agriculture, the actual cost of this production number is just as critical to ensuring farmers are also profitable and sustainable, in the longer-term.
“With fertiliser prices having increased dramatically since planting decisions were made for 2021, and other inputs such as chemicals, GPA has been calling for an increased focus on local manufacturing. We are pleased to see these initiatives delivered, to back our calls for action.”
Last year, GPA co-hosted a Green Fertiliser Industry Roundtable with Strike Energy, featuring industry leaders and senior Federal Government Ministers and MPs, to discuss these issues and the need for more reliable supply of local fertilisers.
Strike Energy are developing a plant at Geraldton in WA’s Northern Wheatbelt that’s aiming to produce and utilise Green Hydrogen to manufacture a greener urea product.
Mr Large said GPA supports the projected longer-term benefits of the Leigh Creek Energy fertiliser project in SA that’s aiming to produce 1 million tonnes of carbon neutral urea annually from 2024.
“GPA looks forward to engaging with representatives of Perdaman Urea Project, to understand details of their initiative and how it can deliver better outcomes and practical results to support the long-term sustainability and profitability of Australian grain producers and our communities,” he said.
“Ultimately the key test for grain producers will be reliability of supply and prices paid, along with the capacity to deliver the necessary agronomic performance on-farm, including environmental sustainability and crop yields.
"Reducing the cost of key inputs for growers is critical to lifting the overall value and growth of our industry and providing certainty."