Economic Diversification & Sustainability

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Work under this priority involves identifying, researching and promoting opportunities to identify, diversify and strengthen key industries throughout the region. This includes annual updates to our economic profile investment opportunities and data provision. We work to identify industries or interventions that would provide more variety to the Orana’s economic base, or that would create new income streams for the region’s existing industries. This is achieved through actions such as research and consultation, collaborative exchange and support for diversification activities being driven by business and industry.

Current projects include:

A BioHub is a “first point of receival”, “receiver of last resort” facility which receives BioMass, like urban wastes or the wastes and by-products of agricultural production, and transforms this waste into other value-add products. Its role is similar to what scrap yards provide for metal recovery. The end product generated from BioHubs includes industrial reductants, biochar-based fertilisers and bio energy.

Regional Development Australia Orana is currently working with local councils, business and industry to progress investment in a regionally-based BioHub. If successful, this would lead to the establishment of a network of Hubs across the region and developing new supply chains, placing the Orana at the centre of the emerging ‘bio economy’.

A business viability study into the region’s first network of hubs is currently underway.

Orana Biohub Project Feasibility Study Overview Orana Biohub Project Feasibility Study Overview (223 KB)

Orana Biohub Project Feasibility Study INS Overview Orana Biohub Project Feasibility Study INS Overview (465 KB)

Orana Biohub Project Pre-Feasibility Study Orana Biohub Project Pre-Feasibility Study (3991 KB)

Orana Biohub Project Pre-Feasibility Study Findings Orana Biohub Project Pre-Feasibility Study Findings (487 KB)

Regional Development Australia Orana has been supporting the up-take of carbon trading as an opportunity for sectoral diversification (mostly in the land sector) since the establishment of the Carbon Farming Initiative. The establishment of the Emissions Reductions Fund has allowed this approach to spread across other sectors of the Orana region’s economy.

Given the scale required to ensure highest abatement at lowest cost, there have been questions about how regional areas can make the most of the opportunities presented by the ERF. Regional Development Australia Orana is providing extension and outreach to encourage regional participation in the Fund in a way that adds competitive scale. We are also collecting evidence to demonstrate the economic impacts of successful projects and developing models to ensure that the region is able to actively participate in any subsequent carbon markets. This work has led to the creation of a key case study on the economics of integrating carbon and traditional farming income streams.

The success of this work is dependent on effective stakeholder engagement, information sharing, mobilising industry champions and engaging carbon service agents and aggregators. RDAO are also providing advice/support for the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) in addition to the ERF.

Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Overview Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Overview (320 KB)

Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Guide for Business Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Guide for Business (304 KB)

Carbon Farming in the enterprise mix Overview Carbon Farming in the enterprise mix Overview (554 KB)

Carbon Farming in the enterprise mix w Exec Sum Carbon Farming in the enterprise mix w Exec Sum (1182 KB)

Agriculture has a significant capacity to deliver broad-based economic benefits to the region, due to its well-developed local supply chains and patterns of local expenditure. Agriculture is integral to the region’s manufacturing, wholesale and transport sectors. As a major employer it maintains and strengthens regional populations. It is the backbone of most of the region’s communities and its ongoing sustainability is paramount to the region’s economic future.

We are actively seeking opportunities for sectoral diversification within agriculture. This includes assessing new crops and/or markets such as carbon farming, industrial hemp, wastes (biomass) and mustard seed. We also work to strengthen the industry through developing financial models and policy suggestions, such as opportunities for multi-peril insurance and innovation funds, water usage and enabling infrastructure.