EXCLUSIVE: Compost deal signed for export to UAE
A HIGH-profile delegation of United Arab Emirates investors and politicians has toured the Bundaberg region looking to invest.
The interest comes after a ground-breaking deal was signed to export Bundaberg compost from the port to the UAE for the first time.
Natural Organic Soils Of Australia (NOSA) have set up a new compost facility in the region which turns sugar-cane mill mud into fertiliser for export.
Sales and marketing manager for NOSA, Hasan Guneyli escorted the delegation to Bundaberg to show them the plant and the region.
Mr Guneyli said the group was looking at a number of other investments in the area.
The delegation includes Dr Khalid Al Naqbi, who is an advisor to the Federal National Council and Chairman of the UAE Executive Committee for foreign investment and heads up a pension and investment fund; and Jasim Naqbi, a Member of Parliament whose family's law firm represents AK Sugar, one of the biggest refiners of sugar in the world.
Abdulla Al Remathi heads up the UAE gas department and is a board member of one of the biggest suppliers of fresh produce to UAE supermarket chains.
Currently his company is exporting more than $12 million of fresh produce out of Victoria monthly and is looking to introduce Bundaberg as an alternative in other seasons.
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed the guests to the city.
He said Bundaberg was one of Australia's best kept secrets and now the world was catching on.
"They are very interested in the region and it's not just the agriculture," Cr Dempsey said.
"They are looking at development opportunities in tourism, education and health.
"They are interested in moving produce from the airport and the port."
Cr Dempsey said he impressed on the men the importance of lifestyle in the region and how Bundaberg was a safe place to live and open for business.
"They normally visit Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast," he said.
"It was great for them to see our region."