Construction on a $60 million cotton gin north of Kununurra will begin next month after the company behind the project placed orders and signed contracts to build the State’s first cotton processing plant. Kimberley Cotton Company executive business officer Louise Schubert said the construction workforce would be a mixture of local labour and interstate specialist workers in gin equipment. “We have the contractors ready to come on site in the next three weeks, within the month we are planning to start the concreting,” she said. The cotton processing plant, 17km north of Kununurra on Mulligans Lagoon Road, should be completed by mid 2025 in time for that year’s ginning season. Visiting workers will be housed in short-stay accommodation including hotels and on farms. Ms Schubert said finding accommodation for workers was, “always an issue”. “We have been tackling that for the last year to make sure we have accommodation,” she said. The establishment of the cotton gin has been supported by the State Government which has committed $3.6m for Horizon Power infrastructure to supply the plant with renewable power from Lake Argyle. There has also been $77.1m worth of upgrades to water infrastructure to the Ord to expand cotton production in the East Kimberley for the processing plant. That includes upgrades to the main water supply channel from Lake Argyle to the 5400ha Knox Plain development. The development of the Knox farmland is seen as essential to produce the volume of cotton needed to make the local industry economically viable. Regional Development Minister Don Punch said he was delighted to see the Kimberley Cotton Company passing a significant milestone. He said they were “moving closer to realising this transformational project for the region, local growers, Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation and the pastoral industry in the East Kimberley”. KCC is made up of many local shareholders and future cotton growers. Their key shareholders are the Kimberley Agriculture Investment, Prime Grain, Namoi Cotton as well as MG Corporation and the Ord River District Co-operative.