Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Agriculture in Great Southern gets $5million Budget injection

    12/05/2008 12:00 AM

    The State Government will invest $5million in the Great Southern region to focus on biosecurity, natural resource management and sheep meat research.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said $1.9million would be spent on animal and plant biosecurity, including animal health surveillance, regulation of livestock identification and movement, management of declared plants, eradication of starling incursions and surveillance and management of animal pests.


    “Specifically, $300,000 will be provided as the State Government’s contribution to the Footrot Control Program, which is now primarily funded by the sheep industry,” Mr Chance said. 


    “A further $220,000 will be spent on genetic research to reduce breech strike in sheep, potentially eliminating the need for chemical fly control, now that mulesing is to be discontinued in 2010.


    “Money will also be spent to enhance the regional disease surveillance network by updating private and Government veterinarians with the latest diagnostic techniques.


    “Ensuring Western Australia is well prepared to deal with animal diseases is vital, and money will be invested in ongoing training of Department of Agriculture and Food staff, private veterinarians and livestock producers in Emergency Animal Disease preparedness.


    “Work will also continue on the eradication of European starlings from the Great Southern region, with $2.45million provided for ongoing surveillance, trapping and program activities.”


    The Minister said $704,000 had also been provided to manage natural resources in the region.


    “The South Coast Natural Resource Management Risk Containment Initiative will receive $210,000 for building industry capacity to manage climate variability and other risks to agricultural land and natural resource assets,” he said.


    “Some $200,000 will be invested in the analysis of the risks to the region’s priority natural resource assets. This will enable the further development of natural resource management strategies for the Southern Region and will guide the South Coast Healthy Catchments Initiative.


    “A further $180,000 has been provided for the development and adaptation of new perennial based systems, as part of the Profitable Perennials Initiative.”


    The Minister said there would also be an investment of $400,000 into sheep meat research, looking at areas such as meat eating quality, productivity, alliance development, genetic improvement and consistency of lamb supplies.


    “Research will be undertaken to look at the potential for new processing technologies including ‘very fast chilling’ and ‘on-line’ measurement of lamb meat quality and the value of shearing lambs prior to finishing in feedlots,” he said.


    “The development of breeding sheep with novel traits specifically for eating quality, including tenderness, colour, lean meat yield and human health attributes such as omega 3 fatty acid, iron, copper and zinc content will also be explored.”


    Other State Budget initiatives for agriculture in the Great Southern include:

    ·         $370,000 for extension of agricultural resource management research results to land managers;

    ·         $250,000 per year to enhance the management capabilities of indigenous landholders in the Southern Rangelands.  This will include working with landholders to increase profitability and sustainability of the land, provision of extension support and the development of business skills and effective farm management systems;

    ·         $250,000 to assess the suitability of pasture species, especially perennials, and their management for cropping and grazing from a profit and environmental perspective;

    ·         $220,000 to monitor and assess the lifetime productivity of ewes and their progeny when grazed at different levels of feed on offer;

    ·         $200,000 to promote cropping systems, which maximise the return on hard setting, grey clay soils;

    ·         $200,000 for research in the pig industry including pork eating quality, pig housing, environmental issues and feed grains;

    ·         $200,000 to investigate the future shape of the sheep industry and deliver targeted workshops on key elements of management;

    ·         $180,000 for further development of the NRM strategy for the South Coast including the development of land capability mapping and risk assessment;

    ·         $150,000 for analysis of farming systems to identify the key risks and opportunities for farm businesses over the next three to five years;

    ·         $150,000 for the development of profitable options for livestock production from low recharge systems;

    ·         $150,000 for the identification of soil productivity constraints to cropping production; and

    ·         $120,000 to introduce new strawberry varieties with improved quality characteristics to meet consumer requirements.


    Minister's office - 9213 6700