Agricultural industries and the broader community will benefit from a $3.5 million boost to support projects aimed at addressing biosecurity risks, as part of the State Government's $20 million Boosting Biosecurity Defences project, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the fund had been established to encourage innovative research and development that enhanced the State's biosecurity status.
Mr Baston said it was important Western Australia remained vigilant against biosecurity threats to protect agricultural industries.
"The Biosecurity Research and Development Fund supports the efforts of organisations, community and industry groups in targeting significant pests and diseases that affect our agricultural sector," the Minister said.
"Over the next three years, $2.5 million of this fund will be distributed across seven projects that collectively support agricultural productivity, help maintain Western Australia's freedom from many pests and diseases and deliver flow-on benefits to industry, regional communities, trade and the economy."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment would help provide a better quality of life in regional WA by enabling regions to grow and contribute to strong economies.
"The Biosecurity Research and Development Fund is an example of industry, community and government developing innovative ways to protect the value of Western Australia's agricultural sector and drive regional growth for the benefit of the whole State," Mr Redman said.
Mr Baston congratulated the Goldfields Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Association which received $158,500 for its work using innovative technologies to identify and map invasive cacti in the Southern Rangelands of WA.
The fund will also support a Murdoch University project aimed at reducing feral pig impacts through the use of aerial thermal sensors and an Invasive Animals Limited project increasing stakeholder participation in biosecurity management.
More information about the seven projects supported by the Biosecurity Research and Development Fund are available at http://www.agric.wa.gov.au
The remainder of the fund will be allocated later this year
Boosting Biosecurity Defences is a component of the $300m Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative, through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700