CA's Roles

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.

Servicing growers

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.

Advisory Panels

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.

Farming systems

Nick Beer (Chair), Nigel Corish, John Durham, Scott McCalman, Tony Thompson, Henry Moses, Joe Robinson, Jack Harris, Aaron Kiely, Geoff O’Neill, Brett Crothers

Biosecurity and stewardship

Peter Graham, Jamie Iker, Brendon Warnock, James Duddy, Stewart Denston, Richard Malone, Bernie Bierhoff


Sinclair Steele (Chair), Ross Burnett, Wayne Towns, Scott Davies, Paul Brimblecombe, Tony Geitz, Fleur Anderson, Bec Lindert,

Scott Balsillie, Murray Connor, Naomi Mulligan, Matt McVeigh, Nick Gillingham


Kate O’Callaghan (Chair), David Walton, Mitch Anderson, Sam Heagney, Peter Tuohey, Emma McCullagh, Adam McVeigh

TIMS Committee

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.

RoleMemberRepresentingArea of responsibility
ChairBernie Bierhoff Cotton AustraliaIndependent
Northern AreaNeek Morowitz

Cotton Australia
Biloela, Central Highlands and Dawson Valley CGAs
Darling DownsTerry Ryan

Cotton Australia

Darling Downs CGA
Western AreaSam HeagneyCotton AustraliaBourke CGA, Dirranbandi CGA, Mungindi Water Users and CGA, St George CGA
Central North AreaRob Holmes

Cotton Australia

Gwydir Valley CGA, Macintyre Valley CGA, Walgett CGA
Central South AreaAndrew Greste

Cotton Australia

Lower Namoi CGA, Upper Namoi CGA
Southern AreaAmanda ThomasCotton AustraliaLachlan CGA, Southern Valleys CGA, Macquarie CGA
Northern TerritorySarah HainCotton AustraliaNorthern Cotton Growers CGA
Northern CCATim Richards (Scott Stoll)CCACentral Highlands, Dawson and Callide Valleys, Darling Downs
Central CCABen Dawson (Peter White)CCAGwydir, Macintyre, Lower and Upper Namoi Valleys
Southern CCA

Heath McWhirter (Richard Malone)

CCAMacquarie, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee regions
Western CCADallas King (Pat McGuiness)CCASt George, Dirranbandi, Mungindi, Walgett and Bourke regions
CSIROTom WalshCSIROCommunications CSIRO
CRDCSusan MaasCRDCCommunications CRDC
NSW DPIGraham CharlesNSW DPICommunications NSW DPI
QLD DAFPaul GrundyQLD DAFCommunications QLD DAF
GRDCMelina MilesGRDCCommunications GRDC
Pulse AustraliaPaul McIntoshPulse AustraliaCommunications Pulse Australia
Technical Panel ChairsBernie Bierhoff
John Cameron
Dallas King
Bt Panel
Herbicides Panel
Insecticides Panel
Communication Bt Panel
Communication HTC Panel
Communication Insecticides Panel

Biosecurity Group

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 productionCotton AustraliaDavid Walton
ExtensionCottonInfoSharna Holman
EntomologyCSIROWee Tek Tay
EntomologyCSIROSimone Heimoana
EntomologyDAF QLDPaul Grundy
EntomologyUQDean Brookes
Plant biosecurityNSW DPIRebekah Pierce
Biosecurity planningDAF QLDSuzy Perry
PathologyDAF QLDLinda Smith
PathologyNSW DPIKaren Kirkby
PolicyCotton AustraliaSimone Cameron
PolicyCotton AustraliaPaul Sloman
Research and developmentCRDCSusan Maas
VirologyDAF QLDMurray Sharman
WeedsDAF QLDJeff Werth

Our partners

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.