The Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) is a statutory authority established in 1990 under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act). CRDC was established by the Australian Government to work with industry to invest in research, development and extension (RD&E) for a more profitable, sustainable and dynamic cotton industry.

CRDC is based in Narrabri, the centre of one of Australia’s major cotton growing regions and the location of the major cotton research facility, the Australian Cotton Research Institute.

Our purpose is to support the performance of the cotton industry: helping to increase both productivity and profitability of our growers. In 2014-15, Australia’s 1,250 cotton growers and the Australian Government will co-invest $24 million through CRDC into RD&E.

Importantly, the Australian cotton industry has always placed great emphasis on the value of its RD&E, and the results speak for themselves. Over the past 10 years alone, RD&E has helped cotton growers reduce their insecticide use by 87 percent, and increase their water use efficiency by 40 percent.

Thanks to cotton RD&E, led by CRDC, Australian cotton growers are now growing more cotton on less land and with less impact on the environment than ever before. (Read more about CRDC’s priorities and investments, and cotton RD&E’s importance, on the Research and Development pages).

CRDC is one of fifteen Rural Research and Development Corporations (rural RDCs) taking a leading national role in planning, investing in and managing research and development for their respective industries. The rural RDCs model is a uniquely Australian innovation established and supported by the Australian Government to provide an industry-driven, market-responsive approach to rural innovation.

The National and Rural Research Priorities of the Australian Government provide an overarching framework for public investment in cotton research and development. CRDC’s investments are closely aligned with these priorities.

Our Vision

A globally competitive and responsible cotton industry.

Our Purpose

Enhancing the performance of the Australian cotton industry and community through investment in research and development, and its application.

Our Goal

  •  For cotton to be profitable and consistently farmers’ crop of choice.

  • For the Australian cotton industry to be the global leader in sustainable agriculture.

  • For the Australian cotton industry to capture the full value of its products.

  • For capable and connected people to be driving the cotton industry.

  • For the measured performance of the cotton industry and its RD&E to drive continuous improvement.

Through successfully implementing our vision, purpose and goals, CRDC will achieve the following outcome:

Adoption of innovation that leads to increased productivity, competitiveness and environmental sustainability through investment and development that benefits the Australian cotton industry and the wider community.

Our Board

CRDC has a seven-member Board, consisting of a Chair (appointed by the Minister for Agriculture), the Executive Director (selected by the Board) and five to seven non-executive Directors nominated by an independent Selection Committee.

Appointment of non-executive Directors is subject to Ministerial approval and directors (other than the Executive Director) are appointed for three-year terms.

Dr Mary Corbett - Chair BSc PhD (FAICD, AFAIM)

CRDC Chair, Dr Mary Corbett is Managing Director of Australian Business Class, an organisation specialising in executive leadership development. Dr Corbett has a strong research background and over 11 years experience in rural agriculture. She has an extensive background in both private and public sectors, with specific emphasis on leadership development and governance.

Dr Corbett is Chair of the West Moreton Health and Hospital Board, and Deputy Chair of the Southbank Institute of Technology. She was previously Deputy Chair of the Australian Agriculture Corporation and a Board member of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation and Food Science Australia.

Appointed: 01/10/2008 until 01/10/2011 Reappointed: 01/10/2011 Appointed Chair

Appointed Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Mr Bruce Finney - Executive Director BSc Ag (MAICD)

Mr Finney has extensive experience in the agricultural sector. Prior to his appointment to CRDC he worked in corporate agriculture in various corporate, management and agronomy roles in Australia and in an advisory role in Argentina. He is a past chair of the Australian Cotton Growers Research Association, a past director of the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC and Irrigation Association of Australia. Mr Finney is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and of the Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Appointed 01/08/2004 by virtue of his appointment as Executive Director of CRDC. He attends the Audit, Intellectual Property and Remuneration Committees as an observer.

Mr Hamish Millar - CRDC Deputy Chair (FAICD)

CRDC Deputy Chair, Mr Millar, is an irrigated cotton and grain grower from Emerald in Central Queensland and farms 1500 hectares within a family partnership. Mr Miller has extensive knowledge of production and agribusiness within the cotton industry, including roles requiring strategic planning, business management and marketing. He also has experience in cotton classification and trading, having worked with Queensland Cotton Corporation Pty Ltd. Mr Millar has extensive experience in several cotton industry organisations, including as Chair of the Australian Cotton Growers Research Association, Director of Cotton Australia, Director of the Australian Cotton Industry Council and Chair of Cotton Industry Development in Northern Australia.

Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.

Appointed member of Intellectual Property Committee.

Dr Michael Robinson BSc (Hons), PhD (FAIMS, GAICD)

Dr Robinson is the CEO of Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. Previously he was the CEO of FrOG Tech Pty Ltd, a private research company specialising in geological reconstructions and interpretations across a range of sectors, including oil and groundwater, and CEO of GeoSphere Ltd, a specialist geological consulting firm in New Zealand. Dr Robinson has extensive experience in primary industries and natural resources research, development and extension: he was the Executive Director of Land & Water Australia, Centre Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (a joint venture between DPI Victoria and University of Melbourne), Chair of the National Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries, CEO of the CRC for Greenhouse Accounting, and a member of the National Primary Industries Standing Committee RD&E Extension Subcommittee.

Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.

Appointed member of the Audit Committee.

Mr Cleave Rogan (MAICD)

Mr Rogan has been farming and marketing cotton and grains for 30 years. He has acted in an advisory role to CRDC, working on research projects related to biosecurity, insects, weeds, diseases, cotton fibre processing and quality enhancement. Mr Rogan was a director of Cotton Australia and has been an industry representative on various other cotton industry associations and research advisory committees.

Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.

Appointed member of Intellectual Property Committee.

Dr Lorraine Stephenson BSc (Hons), MBA, PhD, (GAICD)

Dr Stephenson is the Principal Consultant for Lightning Consulting Services, an independent energy and climate change strategic advisory business. She has over 30 years’ experience in the energy sector and has a strategic focus on creating opportunities for Australian businesses and governments to respond to climate change challenges. Dr Stephenson is the former Chief Clean Energy Advisor to the Queensland Government. She is a member of the Expert Panel on Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed Industries, a member of the NSW Climate Change Council and a nonexecutive director of Good Environmental Choice Australia Ltd.

Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.

Appointed member of Intellectual Property Committee.

Richard Haire (FAICD, FAIM)

Mr Haire is the Australian and New Zealand Managing Director and regional head of Olam International, a global leader in the supply chain management of agricultural products and food ingredients. He was formerly the Chief Executive of Queensland Cotton Corporation Pty Ltd and has been director of several organisations, including Cotton Australia, SunWater Limited, the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Cotton Production and the CSIRO Advisory Board for Field Crops. Mr Haire is currently a director of the Bank of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Queensland Division).

Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.

Chair of the Audit Committee and appointed member of the Remuneration Committee.

Our Team

CRDC’s small but dedicated team of skilled and experienced staff actively manage R&D investment portfolios to achieve the cotton industry’s strategic goals. Our internal capacity is an important element of the overall effectiveness of R&D investment for the cotton industry.

  • Bruce Finney Executive Director
  • Ian Taylor General Manager R&D Investment
  • Graeme Tolson General Manager Business and Finance
  • Ruth Redfern Communications Manager
  • Tracey Leven R&D Program Manager 
  • Allan Williams R&D Program Manager
  • Jane Trindall R&D Program Manager
  • Warwick Waters CottonInfo Program Manager
  • Susan Maas CottonInfo Technical Specialist
  • Dianne Purcell Executive Assistant
  • Megan Baker Project Administration Assistant
  • Emily Luff Accountant
  • Elizabeth Eather Trainee Accountant
  • Tamara Johnston Payroll Officer 

    Our Partners

    Collaboration is king in the Australian cotton industry, with many industry bodies, research organisations and individual researchers, consultants, agronomists and growers working together on joint programs and initiatives.


    It’s a unique feature, and strength, of the cotton industry. 

    Key partners with CRDC in its research, development and extension projects are: 


    CRDC Strategic Plan 2013-18

    CRDC’s Strategic Plan 2013-18 is the organisation’s key planning document. It is the compass that sets the direction for the organisation’s operations and investment in cotton research, development and extension over the next five years, enabling the industry to achieve its long term vision and the Government to achieve its strategic R&D priorities. The Plan outlines the strategic outcomes CRDC is striving to achieve in five priority areas: farmers, industry, customers, people and performance.

    Download the CRDC Strategic R&D Plan 2013-18

    CRDC Annual Operating Plan 2014-15

    Under the CRDC’s five year Strategic Plan, CRDC will establish five Annual Operating Plans – each of which becomes the primary planning and implementation tool for the strategy for that year. While the Strategic Plan sets the overall vision and direction for the organisation, the Annual Operating Plan outlines how the goals will be achieved.  The CRDC Annual Operating Plan for 2014-15 sets out the second year of operation under CRDC’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan. 

    Download the CRDC Annual Operating Plan

    Annual Report

    In accordance with Section 28 of the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 (PIERD Act) CRDC must present an Annual Report. The Report provides an overview of the CRDC’s governance, operations, achievements and financial statements for the 2012-13 period.

    Download the CRDC’s Annual Report 2012-13.

    Indexed lists of CRDCs files

    CRDC provides access to an indexed list of the titles of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files, as required under the Standing Orders of the Senate.

    The most recent indexed files can be downloaded here:

    Index list of files January - June 2014

    Index list of files July - December 2013 

    Index list of files January - June 2013 

    Index list of files July - December 2012

    Workplace Values

    CRDC values social and cultural diversity and is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and the provision of a safe and healthy work environment.

    Current Position

    Currently no positions available.