The production of fresh food in climate controlled greenhouses in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Agribusiness Precinct has the potential to transform food production in Australia and take produce from Western Sydney to the world.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a new report has found the Agribusiness Precinct, announced by the NSW Government in March last year, could enable producers to deliver locally grown fresh produce at prices competitive on a global scale.
“The Agribusiness Precinct provides Western Sydney growers with the unique opportunity to export produce from their farms and have it on a plate on the other side of the globe in just 36 hours,” Mr Ayres said.
“With more than 50 per cent of the world’s population within a 12 hour flight from the Western Parkland City, the Agribusiness Precinct will create endless opportunities for families and businesses in Western Sydney.”
The report, commissioned by the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority, compared the cost of producing tomatoes in a greenhouse in Australia to the global market leader, the Netherlands.
The analysis shows it currently costs 52 per cent more to produce a kilogram of greenhouse tomatoes in Australia, but the creation of a large scale precinct for intensive integrated fresh food production in the Western Parkland City would reduce the difference to just eight per cent.
Australia’s proximity to Asia provides an additional benefit due to lower transport costs when compared to European producers.
“We have had a look at how the best greenhouse producers in the world operate and with the creation of the Agribusiness Precinct on the doorstep of a new international airport we have the chance to compete on an international stage,” Mr Ayres said.
“Western Sydney can be the next global leader in high-tech farming and smart climate controlled glasshouses, providing jobs for Western Sydney and fresh and value-added food for both domestic and international markets.”
Large scale greenhouse production, or an Integrated Intensive Production Hub, over 500 hectares has the potential to create 2,500 direct jobs, 12,000 indirect jobs and the capacity to produce 96,000 tonnes of fresh food. This could generate $2.8 billion in additional revenue over a 10 year period.
Planning of the Agribusiness Precinct is underway, with the first businesses expected to be operating ahead of the opening of the Western Sydney Airport.