A Singaporean businessman says Western Australia’s pastoral industry could add a billion dollars in value by tapping into Western Australia’s vast underground water reserves.
Bruce Cheung says there is money to be made from investing in irrigation
Mr Cheung has spent millions transforming Pardoo’s marginal grazing country into lush green pasture
Agricultural consultant Professor Kevin Bell says Mr Cheung’s approach is a “gamechanger for this part of the world”
Bruce Cheung said despite the size of the resource and the potential benefits, cattle producers have avoided investing in irrigation.
He suspects they have been put off by the state’s complex pastoral leasehold system.
“The water [has been] there for a long time, it’s just that they have never gone about dealing with it,” Mr Cheung said.
Only 5 per cent of land in WA suitable for irrigation is being watered, which Mr Cheung said is a wasted opportunity for the industry to boost stocking rates, drought-proof land, and reduce reliance on the volatile live cattle trade.
Mr Cheung is new to agriculture. He made his fortune in the duty free business, but three years ago decided there was a big future in agriculture.