AN initiative led by local leaders to attract sustainable agricultural investment into the Peel-Harvey Region has stimulated action to improve food security while protecting the region’s prized natural resources, including the Peel-Harvey Estuary.
The region currently grows more than $350 million of produce across 140,000 hectares. This is set to increase significantly over the next 20 years.
However, it has been identified by researchers and government groups that predicted growth of the industry as well as other new development has the potential to create environmental risks if it is not well planned and managed.
Peel Harvey Catchment Council chief executive Jane O’Malley said the fragility of the Peel-Harvey Estuary’s health had always collided with the nutrient management risk that traditional farming and development methods pose on many of the catchment’s soils.
A Technical Working Group (TWG) for Sustainable Agriculture in the Peel has been established to improve and streamline decision making around new proposals for vegetable farms and other horticultural enterprises and ensure that they can meet water quality protection standards. The aim of the TWG is to support the future for the horticulture sector and protecting the Peel-Harvey Estuary.
Copies of the publication to guide investment decisions with new horticulture development in the Peel-Harvey are available from local councils, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s office and website at www.peelharvey. org.au