The head of a taskforce investigating the possibility of building dams in northern Australia says the Kimberley has huge potential.
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott formed the group in January – it will look at ways of boosting agricultural production and utilising empty land in the north.
This week, the group, chaired by the Coalition’s finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, visited Derby, Kununurra, Fitzroy Crossing and several pastoral stations.
The federal Opposition says it is preparing a list of potential new dam sites to take to the next federal election with major opportunities in the country’s north.
The chair of its dams and water management taskforce, Andrew Robb, is in the Kimberley this week looking at proposals such as a dam on the Margaret River near Fitzroy Crossing.
Mr Robb says it has “magnificent potential”.
He says previous water taskforces have failed to realise the true opportunities in northern Australia.
Statistics released by the WA Department of Agriculture and Food shows irrigated agriculture in the Kimberley’s Ord Valley had one of its worst years on record in 2010.
The value of agricultural production slumped to $31 million, its lowest in over a decade, and half of what the Ord achieved in 2006.