Sustainable agricultural development in the West Kimberley has taken a step forward, with the start of a program to confirm the availability of suitable water in the La Grange district.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston today inspected works to establish monitoring bores at Roebuck Plains station, near Broome.
A total of 12 bores will be installed over six sites during the first phase of the works across the north and south of the district.
The Minister said the Department of Agriculture and Food had liaised closely with station owners and traditional owners from the Yawuru and the Nyangumarta country to progress the first phase of the installation of the monitoring bores.
"Previous work by the State Government has identified at least 50 gigalitres of water from the Broome sandstone aquifer that could be used to irrigate horticulture crops or feed for livestock," Mr Baston said.
"These monitoring bores will enable the local people to understand and measure the health and quality of the water, as well as recharge rates and how the aquifer responds to water use for future generations.
"This data could also be used to support any future investment opportunities, by providing confidence in site selection and the ongoing security of the water resource."
Negotiations to establish additional monitoring bores in the central La Grange district are continuing with the traditional owners of the Karajarri country.
"I commend the consultation and collaboration in this project, which has engaged with seven pastoral stations, two existing horticulture businesses and traditional owners across an area that takes in four native title determinations," Mr Baston said.
Acting Regional Development Minister Mia Davies said the works were part of the Regional Economic Development Water Opportunities project, which included a $6.4 million investment through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.
"This is another example of Royalties for Regions supporting the delivery of key economic infrastructure to facilitate economic development in regional WA," Ms Davies said.
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700