Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    Dairy research hub to drive industry profitability

    25/06/2015 8:30 AM
    • New hub to focus on increasing dairy productivity and profitability
    • $1.575 million committed to joint industry-Government initiative

    A new collaborative hub will be established in Bunbury to drive research, development and extension for the State's dairy industry.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston welcomed the new industry-led approach to deliver dairy research focused on increasing the productivity and profitability of dairy producers.


    A total of $1.575 million has been committed by Dairy Australia, through Western Dairy, and the State Government towards the Western Dairy research hub.


    "This is an initiative that empowers the Western Australian dairy industry to drive on-farm research, development and extension activities targeted to its needs," Mr Baston said.


    "The model is expected to strengthen links between research providers and dairy producers, and strengthen industry's links with the local community.


    "Western Dairy is to be applauded for its proactive approach in driving such an important project, which will lead to significant outcomes for its producers."


    Dairy Australia will invest $975,000 and the Department of Agriculture and Food will contribute $600,000 over three years.


    The hub will deliver all dairy-related research activities for WA, as one of Dairy Australia's eight levy-funded regional development programs.


    Western Dairy chairman Victor Rodwell said this was an innovative solution to retain WA's dairy research capacity and the new arrangement ensured capability to deliver timely and relevant work that contributed to the success of the industry.


    The hub will become operational on July 1, 2015 with three full-time staff led by dairy industry development specialist Rob La Grange.


    It will be administered by Western Dairy's strategic partner, South West Catchments Council, enabling the dairy industry to position itself at the forefront of  natural resource management outcomes in the agrifood sector.


    Fact File

    • WA's dairy industry comprises 160 dairy farms and produces about 330 million litres of milk per year
    • WA milk production in 2013-14 was valued at $153.4 million at the farm gate
    • WA exported $47 million of milk in 2013-14

    Minister's office - 6552 5400