Primary Industry Minister Monty House said the progression of a successful agricultural industry in Western Australia was reliant on farmers being able to access first-class services and facilities to ensure that they remained efficient, productive and world leaders in the market place.
“Agricultural advancements and technological developments supported by strong regional infrastructure and growth, will see the agricultural sector well placed to take advantage of new and expanding markets and opportunities,” Mr House said.
“We have delivered increased budget allocations to agriculture and its clients, which has and will, ensure excellence in service delivery by AGWEST.
“AGWEST’s new state-of-the-art facilities in regional centres was an expression of the Government’s confidence in the future of the agricultural sector and the capital works program will continue in the next term of Government.”
Mr House said that during the previous eight years in Government, $32 million had been spent as part of a regionalisation vision to consolidate AGWEST’s activities and staff close to the coal face and to the rural industries it supported.
The Minister said new and improved facilities had been provided in the regions at: Albany, Narrogin, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury and Carnarvon and the Centre for Cropping Systems at Northam, the Great Southern Agricultural Research Institute at Katanning, the Horticultural Research Institute at Manjimup, the Dryland Research Institute at Merredin and the Wongan Hills Research Station.
Twenty three Community Agriculture Centres had also been established in rural communities throughout the State.
Mr House said the continuation of the extensive capital works program would include office redevelopments at Geraldton,Three Springs, Jerramungup, Broome and the refurbishment of AGWEST’s facilities at South Perth.
“The establishment of institutes and centres in country locations has already seen the improvement of the agency’s research, development and the relocation of more staff and programs to the regions which will gather momentum in the next four years,” he said.
“These centres provide world-class facilities that provide the catalyst to attract and retain highly trained and skilled professional, technical and clerical staff.
“To support the direction of programs and services to its customers, the Government will continue with the agency partnership and management groups which included leading industry professionals and key industry stakeholders who provide valuable input and vision.
Mr House said the Coalition Government had a proud record of its investment in agriculture which had paid dividends for the industry, rural communities and Agriculture WA personnel.
Media contact: Julie Cole 9481 2044