THE Western Australian Government has signed a lease with the Kimberley Cotton Company (KCC) consortium to establish a cotton gin and associated storage at Kununurra in the East Kimberley.
KCC’s tenure on the 79-hectare site on Mulligans Lagoon Road will enable it to progress planning approvals with the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley ahead of an anticipated commencement of ginning in 2025.
WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the establishment of a cotton gin is central to the development of the northern cotton industry, providing confidence for growers to increase production to provide the scale and efficiencies for a viable industry.
“This lease agreement shows we are making progress towards a next generation cotton industry in Western Australia, which is founded on sustainability, efficiency and collaboration,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“Preliminary work has already begun to expand the cotton-production area to supply the gin, with the upgrade of the M1 Channel to supply sufficient water for the Knox Development.
“This development will transform the agricultural landscape of the East Kimberley, driving a natural-fibre industry that has a great decarbonisation role.”
The WA Government has been working alongside the KCC to realise the development, while providing $4 million to upgrade electricity, supply infrastructure and undertake necessary approvals.
The gin will be serviced by a fully renewable, reliable, efficient power supply, using hydroelectricity with low carbon emissions, creating an advantage for WA cotton in a global marketplace where customers increasingly demand sustainably produced fibre products.
KCC stakeholders include a consortium of local growers, investors including Namoi Cotton Limited, and Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation representing traditional owners.
Source: WA Government
This will be the greatest outcome for northern agriculture ever. It will finally allow the cotton industry to successfully move forward and lay the foundation for other ag industries to follow. The cattle industry will also benefit greatly from the wonderful by-products of cotton and grains produced.
It would be great to see smaller family farm operators take part in this wonderful opportunity. There are such exciting times ahead; to all involved stay confident and positive, it is a no brainer.