Media Release

​First round of R&D for profit grants announced

6 May 2015

In Queensland there are large areas of black soil country that are highly compromised by the incursion of Parthenium weed – a weed that was brought in by accident from overseas. Around the New England region, a former garden plant – the blackberry – takes over large sections of land.

In the banana industry it would have been of immense help if we had had an earlier detection of Panama disease. And in the south one of the greatest threats to the horticulture industry is Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Queensland Fruit Fly. 

To be at the top of our game we have to be at the top of Research and Development – not just in genetics but in pest control. 

Today I announce $26.7 million worth of grants as part of the Coalition Government’s $100 million Rural R&D for Profit programme.

These grants will be matched by more than $32 million in cash and in-kind contributions by successful applicants and their partner organisations. 

So today we are talking about almost $60 million in total R&D funding that will benefit farmers. 

For every dollar that is spent on R&D, farmers generate a $12 return within 10 years. A good example of this in the history of Australia includes the introduction of the Cactoblastis moth, removing prickly pear and opening up massive new tracts of land that had been lost to this pest which was also brought in as a garden ornament.

In the fishing industry, these grants will allow for the extension of the Southern Australia aquaculture industry.

So it is great to be here at the UNE, a centre for agricultural excellence for our nation to be discussing the advancement of agriculture across our nation.

Agriculture has a large role to play in expanding the soft-commodity market to assist in the massive task of rebalancing our nation’s books. So this is an investment in a solution.

For more information on the Rural R&D for Profit programme, including the full list of successful projects, visit