​Media Release

Supporting the next generation of melon industry leaders

29 November 2017

The Australian melon and tropical fruit industry is set to benefit from the Coalition Government's $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the fund would provide $224,800 to the Australian Melon Association to develop leadership skills through an industry consortium.

"The Coalition Government recognises how important strong industry leadership is to the ongoing success of Australia's horticulture sector, including the melon and tropical fruit industry," Minister Ruston said.

"This funding will help a consortium of horticulture associations come together to establish a leadership program for 40 participants.

"The Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) program will include residential workshops, webinars and mentoring programs.

"The Melon Association will work with Australian Banana Growers' Council, Australian Lychee Growers Association, Australian Mango Industry Association, Avocados Australia Ltd, Passionfruit Australia, Persimmons Australia, Queensland Strawberries and GROWCOM as part of a consortium of organisations which will benefit from the LEAD program.

"It is wonderful to see iconic and emerging horticulture industries working together to make sure they have the leaders of today and tomorrow.

"By investing in the leadership skills in the melon and tropical fruit industry, we are ensuring Australia's producers have the advocacy skills and know-how to champion their industries' priorities."

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Federal Member for Ryan, said developing and expanding leadership capacity and expertise was the key to ensuring the long-term viability and growth of the melon, banana, lychee, mango, avocado, passionfruit, persimmon and Queensland strawberry industries.

"The government is continuing to support the melon industry's goals through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund," Ms Prentice said.

"Australian melons and tropical fruits are world-renowned for their quality. As high value export markets have opened up from new free trade agreements and new and improved technical market access protocols, export volumes and values in watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons have doubled."

Fast Facts

  • The Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was announced as part of the Australian Government's 2016 election policy for a Stronger Agricultural Sector.
  • It aims to support efforts to develop leadership capacity within agricultural industries to enhance the ability of emerging agricultural leaders to advocate agricultural commodity priorities and drive trade opportunities.
  • Funding supports a wide range of projects from large and well-established industries to smaller and emerging industries.
  • The Australian melon industry consists of approximately 250 growers producing some 225,727 tonnes (2015/16) of melons annually. The major melon types produced in Australia are watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons. ​