Cotton Australia is the peak body for Australia’s cotton growers, representing up to 1,500 cotton farms mainly in New South Wales and Queensland, but also in northern Victoria, and in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Cotton Australia works with growers and stakeholders to ensure the Australian cotton industry remains viable, valued and advanced.
Cotton Australia supports the Australian cotton industry to be world-competitive, sustainable and valued by the community. It drives the industry’s strategic direction, retains a strong focus on research and development, promotes the strengths of the industry, reports its environmental credentials and implements policy objectives.
Policy and advocacy
Cotton Australia’s advocacy work starts in the field, listening to the concerns of growers. These messages are developed into formal industry positions, which are then advocated to policy makers and regulators at all levels of government.
A team of full-time and part-time staff located in cotton regions support growers at a local level on a range of issues and activities, act as a referral service, and assist growers in excelling at cotton production.
Best Management Practice (myBMP)
The myBMP program is led by Cotton Australia and is a practical, on-farm management tool enabling growers to be efficient and sustainable. The cross-industry BMP Office is located in Toowoomba and supports growers involved in myBMP.
Grower feedback to CRDC
Cotton Australia provides ongoing advice to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) on research projects funded by the cotton R&D levy and matched by the Australian Government. This feedback is formally provided on all current and new research proposals through Cotton Australia’s four advisory panels – Farming Systems, Biosecurity and Stewardship, Customers, People.
Promotion and education
Cotton Australia promotes the Australian cotton industry through strategic communications activities and a dedicated education program. The organisation is also responsible for keeping growers informed of industry issues.
Cotton Australia is the industry participant in the national biosecurity framework. This includes representation and involvement in national debate, policy development and implementation, prioritisation of resources, and decision making.
Community and capacity
The Australian cotton industry plays an active role in the communities where cotton is grown, and works with a number of community organisations. Cotton Australia also participates in numerous leadership, development and engagement forums.
The cotton industry is well represented by Cotton Australia Directors, staff and cotton growers in a number of critical industry and agricultural forums.
Cotton Australia's Advisory Panels provide feedback and advice to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) on grower priorities for research and development investments. To facilitate detailed understanding, Cotton Australia has four advisory panels that focus on the CRDC's core areas of business.
Cotton Australia facilitates the Transgenic and Insect Management Strategies Committee. Its main role is the development, review and oversight of the Australian cotton industry's Insect, Herbicide and Bt Resistance Management Strategies.
|Role||Member||Representing||Area of responsibility|
|Chair||Nigel Burnett||Cotton Australia||Independent from any region|
|Northern Area||Neek Morowitz|
|Biloela, Central Highlands and Dawson Valley CGAs|
|Darling Downs||Terry Ryan|
|Darling Downs CGA|
|Western Area||Sam Heagney||Cotton Australia||Bourke CGA, Dirranbandi CGA, Mungindi Water Users and CGA, St George CGA|
|Central North Area||Rob Holmes|
|Gwydir Valley CGA, Macintyre Valley CGA, Walgett CGA|
|Central South Area||Andrew Greste|
|Lower Namoi CGA, Upper Namoi CGA|
|Southern Area||Jake Hall||Cotton Australia||Southern Valleys CGA, Macquarie CGA|
|Northern CCA||Tim Richards (Damien Erbacher)||CCA||Central Highlands, Dawson and Callide Valleys, Darling Downs|
|Central CCA||Ben Dawson (Peter White)||CCA||Gwydir, Macintyre, Lower and Upper Namoi Valleys|
|Southern CCA||Richard Malone (Heath McWhirter)||CCA||Macquarie, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee regions|
|Western CCA||Dallas King (Pat McGuiness)||CCA||St George, Dirranbandi, Mungindi, Walgett and Bourke regions|
|CSIRO||Tom Walsh||CSIRO||Communications CSIRO|
|CRDC||Susan Maas||CRDC||Communications CRDC|
|NSW DPI||Graham Charles||NSW DPI||Communications NSW DPI|
|QLD DAF||Paul Grundy||QLD DAF||Communications QLD DAF|
|GRDC||Melina Miles||GRDC||Communications GRDC|
|Pulse Australia||Paul McIntosh||Pulse Australia||Communications Pulse Australia|
|Technical Panel Chairs||Bernie Bierhoff|
|Communication Bt Panel|
Communication HTC Panel
Communication Insecticides Panel
This group meets annually to discuss current industry biosecurity issues and to make sure that the cotton industry’s responsibilities under the Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Deed are met each year.
|Cotton production||Cotton Australia||David Walton|
|Entomology||CSIRO||Wee Tek Tay|
|Entomology||DAF QLD||Paul Grundy|
|Plant biosecurity||NSW DPI||Rebekah Pierce|
|Biosecurity planning||DAF QLD||Suzy Perry|
|Pathology||DAF QLD||Linda Smith|
|Pathology||NSW DPI||Karen Kirkby|
|Policy||Cotton Australia||Simone Cameron|
|Policy||Cotton Australia||Paul Sloman|
|Research and development||CRDC||Susan Maas|
|Virology||DAF QLD||Murray Sharman|
|Weeds||DAF QLD||Jeff Werth|
Cotton Australia’s advocacy work often revolves around partnerships with other affiliate organisations in the agricultural sector. Together, issues are debated and policies and submissions are developed and presented to government.
Cotton Australia also leverages a number of memberships to ensure that cotton growers have a voice in these important agricultural policy forums.
National Farmers’ Federation (NFF)
The National Farmers’ Federation is the peak national body representing farmers, made up of state commodity councils and farm organisations. It is a powerful voice for agriculture politically.
National Irrigators' Council (NIC)
The National Irrigators' Council is the peak national body for irrigators in Australia, providing a policy and political voice for those who use water for commercial agricultural or horticultural purposes across the country.
NSW Irrigators’ Council (NSWIC)
Cotton Australia is a Class A member of the NSW Irrigators’ Council, a collective of almost 30 local water user groups and industry bodies. NSWIC represents more than 12,000 Water Access Licence Holders and was set up to advocate to governments on irrigation issues.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF)
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation is a collective voice for intensive agricultural industries in Queensland. It represents the interests of 16 of Queensland’s peak rural industry organisations, which in turn collectively represent more than 13,000 primary producers across the state.