Joint media release: Tasmania drought hub to broaden its focus

6 October 2021

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, the Hon David Littleproud MP
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator for Tasmania, Senator the Hon Jonno Duniam


  • The eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs will be given $20 million in additional funding
  • This will enable the Tasmania Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub to expand its  focus to drive agricultural innovation beyond drought 
  • The hubs will also be able to expand their remit into fisheries and aquaculture
  • Trialling new technologies and practices is a high priority
  • This builds on the $66 million commitment to the hubs through the Future Drought Fund

The Australian Government is expanding the Tasmania Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub to catalyse agricultural innovation, drive commercialisation and create jobs.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Government has allocated additional funding for each Hub to develop regionally focused and responsive innovation and adoption strategies and to undertake activities.

“This investment is the next phase in the evolution of the Drought Hubs from being just drought focused to being focused on Innovation more broadly,” Minister Littleproud said.

The Tasmania based hub—led by the University of Tasmania—is one of eight established across the country in April this year through the government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

“These hubs are key to unlocking the potential of the agricultural innovation system, enabling people to collaborate and deliver regionally targeted productivity gains.

“The hubs will build connections between researchers, technology developers, investors, producers and agribusinesses to drive innovation and digital technology uptake across industry and the supply-chain.

“The hubs will always be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.

“Now, as part of the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda, we are expanding their remit into broader agricultural innovation activities and outcomes.”

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Senator for Tasmania Jonno Duniam particularly welcomed the opportunity for the hub to explore expansion into fisheries and aquaculture.

“This is great practical development for the hubs, particularly here in Tasmania with our world class aquaculture industry,” Assistant Minister Duniam said. 

“The Tasmania hub will provide a physical platform for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders from across our great state to come together to translate research into tangible outcomes on the ground. 

“This hub is already working with farmers and communities from Burnie and Elliott up in the north right down into the south of the state, and this expansion will open up even more opportunities.

“I encourage interested parties to reach out to the University of Tasmania to register their interest in getting involved.”

For more details visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund/research-adoption-program/adoption-innovation-hubs/tasmania-hub 

Fast Facts:

  • Under the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda, the government is providing additional funding to the eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs to expand their current remit of drought resilience to broader agricultural innovation outcomes.
  • $20 million in additional funding is available to support activities which will lead to uptake of innovation by producers, stimulate collaboration and increase commercialisation.
  • The key activities of the hubs will include: 
    • developing regionally focused and responsive innovation and adoption strategies 
    • providing a local “shopfront” to access to knowledge, advice and support
    • collating knowledge relevant to the region so it is accessible and available for adoption, and to understand knowledge gaps and priorities
    • trialling of new technologies and practices that are high priority 
    • demonstration, extension and communication to support uptake and scaling up of successful innovations
    • working with researchers to improve their ability to co-design research, so it delivers to end-user needs and context
    • developing and supporting use of information and decision support tools that help farmers understand and respond to risks and opportunities
    • attracting commercial investors and supporting commercialisation 
    • building regionally-based entrepreneurial skills and leadership
    • linking in with the Research and Development Corporations, where it makes sense.
  • The hubs were established through the forward-thinking Future Drought Fund – a long term, sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness and resilience.
  • An independent Advisory Committee chaired by Mr Brent Finlay provides oversight across the hubs, supporting them to become interconnected agricultural innovation precincts.