Desert Springs Melon Farm

With fund­ing from the Abo­rig­i­nals Ben­e­fit Account, Cen­tre­farm project designed and man­aged the devel­op­ment of a bore field to ser­vice leas­es on the Warrabri Abo­rig­i­nal Land Trust. The project includ­ed drilling, pump test­ing, stra­ta and water sam­pling and analy­sis, hydro­ge­o­log­i­cal assess­ment and the prepa­ra­tion of an oper­a­tional and mon­i­tor­ing plan. The orig­i­nal agree­ment was for 12 bores deliv­er­ing 2000ML of water, but Cen­tre­farm suc­cess­ful­ly man­aged the project to devel­op 21 bores (both pro­duc­tion and mon­i­tor­ing) deliv­er­ing up to 5000ML.

Desert Springs Mel­on Farm took up one of the leas­es in 2008 and man­ag­er Paul McLaugh­lin has been able to devel­op a high­ly suc­cess­ful hor­ti­cul­tur­al devel­op­ment on the lease area, pro­duc­ing approx­i­mate­ly 8000 tons of water­mel­ons annu­al­ly and Cen­tral Aus­trali­a’s first com­mer­cial peanut harvest.

Cen­tre­farm have a for­mal man­age­ment agree­ment with Alekarenge Hor­ti­cul­ture Pty Ltd (AHPL). AHPL is a whol­ly owned com­pa­ny of the Arlp­we Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and the Arlp­we Res­i­dents Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion who rep­re­sent the Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers and oth­er Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple of Alekarenge com­mu­ni­ty, on the Warrabri Abo­rig­i­nal Land Trust. AHPL holds the Head Lease to Desert Springs Mel­on Farm and with the rental returns pro­vides income for com­mu­ni­ty pur­pos­es, train­ing and capac­i­ty building.

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