The primary policy driver for the Northern Corridor research program is the Northern Economic Plan, the SA Government’s blueprint for a prosperous northern Adelaide, focused on creating jobs and empowering local communities. The plan includes two major initiatives for agribusiness. The Northern Adelaide Plains Agribusiness Initiative includes the development of three key projects to expand the region’s agriculture, food and beverage sectors:
The Northern Adelaide Food Park will establish a dedicated precinct to enable food and beverage processors, manufacturers and other service related providers to co-locate, and access common infrastructure and services on one site. It will encourage sharing of information on processes, products and markets, particularly for export purposes.
There are a number of gaps in underlying knowledge that need to be filled in order to enable decisions to be made in an informed manner including:
The key management question to be addressed is: how can the water resources available to the Northern Corridor region be best used to optimise the development of industries that generate new employment opportunities in the NC region in a sustainable way and not result in long term and not result in long term environmental problems resulting in reduced productivity and legacy costs for industry, landowners, local and State government to deal with and address?
There are broadly two areas of investigation required to address this question:
The research is proposed to be structured into five distinct tasks:
Specific outcomes from the project include collation of current knowledge on the impacts of using recycled water, and stormwater and groundwater of various quality for irrigation; and filling key research gaps identified at various stakeholder-researcher workshops as holding back economic development (related to expansion of irrigated horticulture) along the Northern Adelaide Corridor (defined as the coastal plains region between northern Adelaide and Whyalla).