A new project in Western Australia’s vast Wheatbelt region is one of the many ways we are proactively playing our part.
“The immensely productive Wheatbelt region is exposed to the growing challenges of climate change and land degradation risks.”
The project concept, initiated by ANZ, looks to integrate native reforestation and carbon farming with the production of biomass for renewable biofuels. We partnered with INPEX, one of Japan’s major energy companies and long term investor in Australia, for the initial prefeasibility study. And we are thrilled to be also joining forces with Qantas to take this project forward.
Close engagement and long-term partnerships with landowners and the community in the Wheatbelt are at the very heart of this project. Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region is home to more than 3,000 predominantly private family-owned broadacre cropping and pasture operations.
This immensely productive region is however exposed to the growing challenges of climate change and land degradation risks - including the impacts of salinity, soil erosion and soil acidification.
Over the last year, the team has been working hard to consider the lessons learned from the past and the challenges likely to emerge across the Wheatbelt in the future. Leveraging more than two decades of world-class research, we have developed a project execution plan that tailors a selection of specific native planting activities to enrich different Wheatbelt landscapes.
Under this model, native reforestation for the purposes of carbon farming will be applied to marginal-to-low yielding land. Additional feasibility work will be undertaken to assess native biomass crops, such as Mallee Eucalypts, for the production of renewable biofuels.
This approach provides an opportunity for landowners to benefit from more drought-resilient cash crops, diversifying farm incomes and reducing the volatility of crop yields and cashflows. It will also provide direct exposure to the rapidly growing carbon and renewable biofuels markets while supporting scalability.