Katherine Town Council has taken a cautious approach in supporting a bigger cotton industry in the Katherine region.
Council was asked this week for a letter of support on plans to expand the industry here, after successful trials both on private properties and at the Katherine Research Farm.
A plan was announced late last year for the construction of a cotton gin in the Katherine region.
A feasibility study and detailed business plan is being funded by Singapore agribusiness OLAM Australia (Queensland Cotton), Northern Territory Cotton Growers Association and NT Government and will be undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
"They would like a letter of support for the cotton industry being in Katherine," Mayor Fay Miller told council on Tuesday night.
"Specifically they are interested in placing a cotton gin here to take in the harvest from Douglas-Daly.
"There's big potential here because of our position, we're very connected in multiple directions so I think they would like to run their harvest from over a very large area here in Katherine."
More reading: Katherine opposed cotton in the past.
"I have already signed a letter of support in my role as a Big Rivers Region Business Development Board member, but I'm putting it up to the council now."
"Personally, I do believe in it."
Alderman Jon Raynor said: "Cotton is a really good idea, but water usage is a big concern. As the Katherine Times reported, we're just coming off our worst wet in 60 years.
"Before I'd be comfortable putting our support behind it I think we really need to find out the quantity of water it will realistically use."
Alderman Toni Tapp Coutts said she agreed with Alderman Raynor.
"Water usage is a priority for us so we need that sort of information from them first."
Alderman Peter Gazey said: "We have very little water so we need to look into that thoroughly."
Alderman John Zelley said: "The other area I'm concerned about is management of waste - It's seeds and husks, right? I would like to see how they are planning for waste and water consumption."
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