Big changes ahead at Orange Ag Institute
From the edition of Agriculture Today.
Orange Agricultural Institute will be transferred from its current location to a new purpose built facility.
A deed of agreement signed with Charles Sturt University is a catalyst for great things to come in Orange, according to NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald.
The plan is intended to deliver added investment and new state-of-the-art facilities to support agricultural research efforts in Orange and to create a world-class agricultural science and research precinct at the Charles Sturt University campus.
Land and facilities that make up the current Orange Agricultural Institute at Forest Road will be sold; the time frame at this stage for relocation is at least five years.
Mr Macdonald said the new centre would enable existing OAI staff to work alongside CSU’s agricultural research teams.
'Having the new OAI building on the CSU precinct means staff from both organisations will benefit from greater collaboration and idea sharing.
'A more modern research facility, decked out with the latest equipment, will also help OAI staff deliver even better results in shorter periods of time.
'Investment dollars are generated through the sale of under-utilisedand surplus assets, with proceeds re-invested in a range of upgrades at research stations across the State,' Mr Macdonald said.
'The eventual relocation and upgrade of the Orange Agricultural Institute is great news for the Orange community, Charles Sturt University and our state’s agricultural sector.'
Under the deed, 50 hectares of land will be reclaimed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
The long-term vision is to relocate the Orange Agricultural Institute from its existing location onto the new 50-hectare site. To do this, the Department aims to sell the land and facilities at the current OAI site, with proceeds used to build the new research centre.
Fifty six hectares will be transferred to Charles Sturt University as freehold title.
This will enable CSU to use the land to expand its existing faculties and schools, helping it meet its goal of doubling the number of students on CSU’s Orange campus over the next five years.
The remaining 390 hectares will be used by both DPI and CSU for ongoing research work.
This plot will continue to retain current caveats that require the land be used exclusively for agricultural education and research.
This story appears in Agriculture Today.