Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New England and Cotton

Photo: Assistant Federal Minister for Water, the Hon. John Cobb, launching (7 August) a new public exhibit to explore the cotton industry’s management of water, the first of its kind in Australia.

Cotton growing is one of New England's major agricultural inndustries.

Located at the Australian Cotton Centre in Narrabri NSW, the “Water Wise” exhibition puts cotton’s water use in perspective, explains water allocations and licences and looks at ways the industry is saving water using science and technology.

“The launch of the water exhibit at the Australian Cotton Exhibition Centre is not only a valuable resource for the industry and the region, but goes a long way in dispelling the myths about this important industry,” Minister Cobb said.

“This is a practical exhibit that can be easily understood by anyone who sees it. I am adamant about the need for a balanced water debate and am extremely pleased that the industry is on the front foot in ensuring that the facts are made available,” he said.

“I am also hopeful that school groups will use this facility to further their understanding of agricultural industries,” Mr Cobb said.

Jointly funded by the CRDC, Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, Namoi CMA, Auscott Limited and Cotton Australia, the exhibit highlights the realities of water use on a cotton farm. According to the Australian Cotton Exhibition Manager, Sandy Young, this new exhibit meets the needs of visitors and the industry alike.

“Water is overwhelmingly the major issue concerning visitors to the centre, and this interactive display will help to dispel myths relating to the cotton industry,” Ms Young said.

“It encourages the visitor, from school children to retirees, to explore the complexities of water use and management.

“The exhibit has two parts; the first is a miniature model of a river catchment, complete with rain and running water informing visitors about water management and use at river catchment level.

“The second shows a section of an irrigated cotton field that siphons water onto the field and demonstrates water use efficiency by the irrigated cotton industry and technologies used within the industry,” she said.

The Australian Cotton Centre is the only front-line educational facility for the cotton industry in Australia. It’s open from 8.30am to 4.30pm everyday of the year except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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