THE COTTON Research Development Corporation (CRDC) has proven you can successfully run a complex business in a regional town.
For over 25 years the CRDC has been located in the Namoi Valley town of Narrabri, NSW, which has a population of about 6000 according to census data.
With a staff of about 12, the CRDC is responsible for the funding and management of over $20 million of research expenditure.
CRDC executive director, Bruce Finney said his team benefited from close ties to the large cotton grower and research community based in the region.
“We find the strength of relationship helps us to focus on not only the issues of today, but to understand the longer term issues that we need to address for the cotton industry,” he said.
“Being located close to the growers and having their feedback about their needs is very powerful.”
Mr Finney said CRDC recognised the challenges relating to being based in a regional location.
“Narrabri is no different to any other rural and regional community that has challenges of having good infrastructure,” he said.
“We’ve got an investment in high speed internet that enables us to connect.
“We will be using it more in terms of our communications with researchers.”
Mr Finney said while there are challenges in the logistics of getting to other locations, it is possible and staff have access to a range of services.
“We have a new air service to Narrabri, we equally have access to good services out of Moree and Tamworth.”
Mr Finney said he was not complacent regarding the challenges of recruiting staff in regional locations.
“To date we have only been successful in recruiting, but it is a widely understood challenge,” he said.