Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    Stocktake of State's agriculture department

    14/03/2016 5:05 PM
    • Six-member panel to review the department's capacity and strengths
    • Doubling WA's agriculture and food production by 2025
    • Stocktake starts today

    Agri-consultant Peter Cooke has been appointed to chair a stocktake of the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) to help shape its future direction and resourcing needs.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said Mr Cooke would lead a six-member panel to report to the State Government by mid-year.


    It will consider and provide recommendations on the future role and resourcing of programs within the department, with a focus on the Government's Agrifood 2025+ goal of doubling the value of Western Australia's agrifood sector between 2013 to 2025.


    "Mr Cooke is a respected consultant with extensive experience working across all the different sectors of agriculture including grains, livestock and horticulture," Mr Baston said.


    Other members include Peter Nixon, chairman of the Ministerial Agricultural Advisory Committee; Mark Webb, acting Director General of DAFWA; biosecurity expert Kevin Goss; and senior representatives from the Department of Treasury and DAFWA.


    "Peter brings a wealth of experience through his involvement with the Nuffield Scholars and his long family involvement in farming at Moora," the Minister said.


    Mr Baston said the stocktake would provide a detailed understanding of the critical roles, responsibilities and obligations that DAFWA performed on behalf of the Government.


    The Minister said the stocktake was timely given the significant growth and changes to WA's agricultural sector.


    "With the rapidly changing nature of the industry and budgetary funding constraints, it is timely for DAFWA to review and optimise its roles and resources so it can effectively support the success of business in our agricultural sector," he said.


    Fact File

    • The gross value of WA's agricultural production rose 0.2% to $11.6 billion in 2014-15
    • The State's agriculture and food exports were valued at $7.8 billion in 2014-15, mainly comprising wheat, barley, canola, wool and crayfish
    • Major export markets include China, Indonesia and Vietnam

    Minister's office - 6552 5400