AU: Labor makes $16.7 million commitment to Agri Tech Hub

Western Sydney University has welcomed Federal Labor’s $16.7 million election commitment to support the University’s vision for a world-leading Agri Tech Hub at its Hawkesbury campus.

The announcement was made by the Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon Richard Marles MP, and Susan Templeman MP, Federal Member for Macquarie, during a visit to the campus.

The $50 million Agri Tech Hub will be Australia’s first high-tech commercial, teaching, and research greenhouse complex – creating new jobs, attracting industry, and driving agriculture innovation for the Hawkesbury region.

Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon Richard Marles MP, and Susan Templeman MP, Federal Member for Macquarie, tour Western Sydney University's National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre. 

Spanning six hectares, it will comprise a high-tech, industry-partnered greenhouse array and house agriculture technology for teaching, research, and commercial food production at scale.

The Agri Tech Hub will significantly expand industry-partnered research in globally competitive fields like food technology, land-use management, and consumer demand. It will feature co-location spaces for work-integrated learning, as well as collaboration opportunities for local businesses, TAFE NSW, and programs for schools and community groups.

Importantly, it will help address sovereign risk in food security by providing a large and sustainable supply of fresh produce to Western Sydney and Australia, reducing dependency on foreign supply chains.

Professor Andy Marks, Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategy, Government and Alliances, said the Agri Tech Hub is a multi-million dollar investment in the future of sustainable agriculture in Australia – cementing Western Sydney’s position as a world leader in protected cropping and delivering critical knowledge jobs to the Hawkesbury region.

Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon Richard Marles MP; David Soo, Founder, Australian Vanilla Plantations; Professor Andy Marks, Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategy, Government and Alliance, Western Sydney University; and Susan Templeman MP, Federal Member for Macquarie. 

“This will be a globally significant hub. It will accelerate the technological innovation, jobs pipeline, and research required to grow agriculture in Australia to a $100 billion industry by 2030,” Professor Marks said.

Professor Marks said the Agri Tech Hub would benefit immensely from its location and proximity to the new airport at Badgerys Creek – supporting the rapid export of high-quality, high yield produce straight from Western Sydney and into South-East Asia. 

Artist impression of the future Agri Tech Hub to be located at the Hawkesbury campus. 

“Growth and investment in the region are only set to intensify over the coming years with the new airport. The Agri Tech Hub is a chance for Hawkesbury residents to directly benefit from these major infrastructure investments in our region and secure knowledge jobs in a rapidly expanding agriculture sector, close to home,” said Professor Marks.

Source: westernsydney.edu.au


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