The Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness (CHAA) initiative aims to grow, promote and realise value and opportunity for all businesses producing agricultural and food products, processing and other value-adding services in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, Australia. 

CHAA Goal & Strategy 

To ensure that the Central Highlands region is positioned to exploit its long-term potential as well as grow its comparative advantage, the CHAA initiative is pursuing five strategic areas in line with its overarching strategic goals.








CHAA Strategic Advisory Group

The skills-based CHAA Strategic Advisory Group has been appointed for a three-year term from 1 February, 2017. Collectively, these respected individuals bring strong expertise in grain, cotton, beef and horticulture, domestic and international supply chain systems, market development and trade, and digital technologies.

The Charter for the CHAA Strategic Advisory Group can be found here.

Chairman Kerry Hayes

Kerry Hayes is Chairman of the Central Highlands Development Corporation, and Mayor of the Central Highlands Regional Council since his election in 2016.

Kerry grew up on a ballot block in Capella before also spending time on the family’s farms at Emerald and Anakie. Kerry’s working life started in Emerald as a livestock agent. He is Managing Director and owner of Emerald Land & Cattle, which he founded in 1988 and has grown from a livestock and property business to include real estate, property management and water trading.

As a former councillor with 15 years of experience in local Government, Kerry’s communication skills, great knowledge of the entire Central Queensland area and contribution to community is widely sought.

Kerry lives with his partner Bron on a small cattle farm.

Fleur Anderson

Fleur Anderson is passionate about providing rural and regional businesses with the digital know-how that they need to help their communities thrive. The committed Theodore-based businessperson and community advocate produces a podcast series, Beating around the Bush and is the founder of the Rural Business Collective, which aims to create an entrepreneurial culture in rural Australia and increase regional economic diversity.

Alongside her family’s cotton farm, Fleur divides time between her roles as Managing Director of the Cahoots Group, Commissioner, GasFields Commission Queensland, and an elected non-executive Director on the Board of Cotton Australia. Fleur was recognised by the Queensland Government as a Community Digital Champion in 2016.

She brings particular skills in the area of community development, stakeholder engagement and the not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors to CHAA.

James Clark

A formidable figurehead in the drive to boost grains research capability and capacity in the north-eastern Australia, James Clark was a Grains Research Development Corporation Northern Panel member from 2005 and Panel Chair from 2008 to 2016.

Based in the Hunter Valley, NSW, James is the Executive Director of Colane Farming Company which has included land development, grain, cotton and animal production enterprises. He is currently a non-executive director of the Hunter Local Land Services Board and a number of privately owned propriety limited companies specialising in commercial property and hospitality businesses.

James understands the drivers of agribusiness success and will share his extensive business networks throughout NSW and Queensland, experience in dryland and irrigated crop production and both intensive and extensive animal production, as well as a diversity of Chairmanship, director and industry committee experience.

Ian McCamley

Ian is a 5th generation Queensland beef producer operating MCC Pastoral on 26,000 ha north of Rolleston with his wife Kate. They are Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS) and MSA (Meat Standards Australia) accredited, targeting domestic and export markets including EU, and live export slaughter cattle to Vietnam. They also grow grain on 1,250ha.

Ian sits on the MLA Board Director Selection Committee, the AgForce Leasehold Land and Tenure Committee, and the Beef Australia Carcass Committee. He represented cattle producers on the Beef Language White Paper Steering Committee, the MSA Beef Taskforce and on the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) Marketing, Market Access and Trade committee.

Ian has travelled to Japan, Korea and China on behalf of the Australian beef industry. In 2013 he won the Queensland Red Meat Awards – Innovation in Red Meat – Beef Producer of the Year. Ian wants to help people better understand how Agriculture operates at a grassroots level and why it is so vital to the wellbeing and prosperity of both rural and urban Australia.

Paul Murphy

As Chairman of Southern Cross Agricultural Exports Pty Ltd, Paul Murphy is a significant driver behind the Emerald based company which markets certified sustainable grains and legumes, hay, fresh produce, cotton, animal products to national and international clients. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Radicle Seeds Australia Pty Ltd, another Central Highlands based company dedicated to the research and production of grain varieties specifically bred for the climatic conditions of the region.

A third-generation farmer, Paul is the Managing Director and owner of an organically certified grain property via Capella supported by his wife and two adult children. First certified in 1991, he is among the longest serving certified organic growers in Queensland and supplies grain for boutique markets in all capital cities in Australia.

Paul’s passion for sustainable agriculture and clean food production is matched with extensive experience in agribusiness export capability and networks throughout the Pacific and Asian region.

Warwick Powell

Warwick is the founder and director of Sister City Partners a not-for-profit regional investment banking enterprise which works to strengthen trade and investment bridges between Chinese and Australian organisations and enterprises. Sister City Partners explores innovative business models to drive enterprise and value chain sustainability.

Based in Brisbane, he is passionate about the challenges and opportunities of Australia’s regions. He is an Adjunct Research Fellow at James Cook University and a director of a number of companies in Australia and Hong Kong, involved in investment banking, big data analytics, renewable energy and agribusiness services.

Proficient in Mandarin, Warwick is a recognised creative thinker in economic, social and enterprise development with 20 years’ experience in identifying and assessing social and economic impacts across a broad range of public policy propositions and development activities and initiatives.

Taylor Pressler

Taylor Pressler is the Product Coordinator and Marketing Assistant for 2PH Farms, an Emerald based business exporting premium mandarins, lemons and table grapes. In just over three decades 2PH has grown from a small family concern into one of the largest privately owned mandarin orchards in the southern hemisphere boasting more than 300,000 productive citrus trees, 220 ha under table grapes and an in-house research and development programme.

2PH has achieved this remarkable growth by paying attention to detail, every step of the way. Prior to returning to the family enterprise, Taylor was a key Account Manager and Agronomist for Lindsay Australia working with cropping enterprises across the Central Highlands.

Taylor is currently participating in the International Emerging Leaders Program delivered Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the University of Arizona, Tucson. Taylor believes that CHAA is a great opportunity to promote and develop our region and to share her love for Horticulture and Agriculture more widely.


CHAA is an initiative of CHDC in partnership with the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC).