The Burdekin is one of Australia’s richest agricultural regions with current and emerging industries capably supported by world-class infrastructure.&nbsp; Burdekin Shire Council mayor Lyn McLaughlin said in recent times the Burdekin has also been recognised as having high levels of solar irradiation, “perfect for solar farms,” and is one of the leading solar energy producing regions in Australia. &nbsp; “Construction of the first solar farm has been completed, with another one underway and an additional three renewable energy developments in the pipeline,”&nbsp;Cr&nbsp;McLaughlin said. She&nbsp;said the region’s most important asset is water.&nbsp; “The Burdekin River, combined with a massive underground aquifer and the Burdekin Falls Dam, make the district drought resistant. &nbsp; “The rich supply of irrigation water, combined with about 300 days of sunshine a year and fertile, well-drained soils, boosts the confidence of farmers, business people, residents and investors.” Cr&nbsp;McLaughlin said the Burdekin Shire's economy is strongly based on agribusiness with the main crop being sugar cane, with the region also also boasting&nbsp;strong fruit, vegetable, beef and aquaculture industries.&nbsp; “About 3400ha of the Burdekin is dedicated to horticultural use such as mangoes, melons, pumpkins, zucchinis, soybeans, mung beans, sweet corn, beans and maize.” She said Burdekin Shire Council has in recent years been very focused on diversification to bring new and value-added industries to the district. “The council is hosting a Burdekin Export Forum on Friday, May 4, to provide growers from throughout the region with information on the potential benefits of export. “This forum is a follow-up to&nbsp;the council’s participation in the successful delegation to Singapore, led by Townsville Enterprise, in September last year and will be an ideal chance to provide growers with information on emerging markets, international opportunities, and supply chains.” Cr&nbsp;McLaughlin said the forum will also feature case studies from other businesses to provide growers with insights into doing business internationally.&nbsp; The council is also expanding its support and focus in developing tourism opportunities for the region.&nbsp; “Tourism is considered a key driver for job creation and the council views the industry as an underdeveloped section of the Burdekin economy with untapped potential to grow on.” The council will be releasing a five-year tourism strategy later in the year. “The potential for this region is enormous and by working proactively in pursuing opportunities, Burdekin Shire Council aims to continue developing and growing this wonderful part of North Queensland.” For more information on the Burdekin&nbsp;please visit the Burdekin Shire Council website&nbsp;or contact council’s Economic Development Unit on (07) 4783 9800.