Monty House

Monty House


Richard Court

Richard Court


    Agriculture and Fisheries to remain a high priority: Minister

    16/01/2001 1:00 PM

      Protecting and enhancing Western Australia’s reputation as a clean, green and innovative producer of primary products lies at the heart of the Coalition’s Agriculture and Fisheries policy, launched today by Premier Richard Court and Primary Industry and Fisheries Minister Monty House.

      Key initiatives in the policy include providing world-class research and development facilities; regional infrastructure and services; ways of attracting young people into fishing, agriculture and agribusiness careers; establishing the Farm Bush scheme and implementing the Food Industry Development Strategy.

      Mr Court, in the Great Southern for the launch, said the Agriculture and Fisheries sectors were a high priority for Government, reflecting their importance to the financial and social well being of Western Australia.

      Mr House said the Government was committed to supporting their progression and development with a strong focus on value-adding initiatives across both portfolio areas.

      “The Coalition will provide a framework of Government services that are tailored to meet the demands of new generation farmers and fishermen,” he said.

      During the next term of Government, the Coalition will continue to deliver real benefits for rural Western Australia through policies aimed at:
      • profitable food and fibre industries;
      • stewardship of our farming environment and fish resources;
      • investing in our people and rural communities; and -
      • excellence in Government service delivery.

      Mr House said that the Agriculture and Fisheries policy demonstrated that the Coalition Government would continue to deliver positive outcomes to farmers, fishermen and regional communities alike.

      Key initiatives and commitments in the agricultural and fishery portfolios follow.

      Media contacts:
      Premier's office - Casey Cahill 9222 9475
      Minister House's office - Julie Cole 9481 2044

      Key initiatives and commitments in the policy include:

      • Target the Federal Government’s international trade policies to ensure that the level playing field reflects fair trade and a fair go for the people who live and work in country Western Australia.
      • Progress legislation into Parliament to introduce greater price transparency to ensure primary producers can clearly follow their product along the market chain and ensure they are receiving a fair price for their produce.
      • Ensure the funding and continued expansion of the Farm Business Development Programs for farmers under the ‘Advancing Australian Agriculture’ initiative.
      • Continue with the extensive regional capital works program and redeployment of staff and programs to regional areas.
      • Commence a major initiative to modernise AGWEST’s Head Office at South Perth to carry out specialised research to support the fieldwork undertaken in the regions.
      • Develop a State-wide and regional branding strategy to promote buyer loyalty and gain improved returns to farmers.
      • Under the umbrella of a new food industry development strategy, provide a lead role in developing food related industry opportunities.
      • In partnership with industry, investigate the feasibility of establishing a WA Agrifood Chain Research Institute to encourage graduate education and research into agriculture.
      • Establish a ‘one stop shop’ quality food initiative with AGWEST as a vehicle to co-ordinate agency and industry activities in food quality and safety.
      • Support the development of a Post Harvest Handling Centre within AGWEST.
      • Develop strategies to increase domestic and international terms of trade such as encouraging diversification.
      • Continue to support the maintenance of statutory marketing arrangements if the majority of the industry supports the retention of that system of marketing.
      • Continue the Country Focus Initiative to build on the previous success of Focus Indonesia and Taiwan to include the Middle East, South America, South West Asia and Europe.
      • Promote opportunities for investment in Western Australia to establish and expand, further processing opportunities for grain, horticulture, wool and dairy products.
      • Continue to support a strong focus on new industry development.
      • Improve the public recognition of the importance of the primary industry sector by continuing to support AGWEST’s Community Awareness Project.
      • Encourage and attract young people into careers in agriculture, agribusiness and fishing industries.
      • Introduce the Farm Bush Scheme to build on the Remnant Vegetation Protection Scheme.
      • Using the principals of quality assurance, work with farmers to develop environmental management systems that provide market premiums through recognising sustainable production.
      • Integrated farm forestry will continue to be supported in preference to fence to fence plantations.
      • Chemical legislation will be updated, to ensure the safe and proper use and handling of all chemicals as well as training operators and users to ensure food and personal safety.
      • Continue to lobby the Federal Government for an improved taxation arrangement for landcare activities, including 150 per cent tax deductibility or tax credits for landcare works and salinity actions.
      • Increase the commitment to developing farmer-driven, value-adding ventures in agriculture, particularly the implementation of collaborative farmer owned food and fibre processing.
      • Recommend to the Commonwealth Government a range of improved risk management tools for farmers, including a full investigation of a Commonwealth Government subsidised multi-peril crop insurance scheme.
      • Explore the feasibility of establishing a Culinary Institute in rural WA to facilitate and support the development of a unique and identifiable regional cuisine.
      • Develop and implement a community leadership program aimed at supporting the leadership development of existing leaders in the areas of industry groups and community bodies.
      • Continue to support the on-going development of farm and station tourism.
      • Stimulate the development of markets in regional and rural centres.
      • Continue to support the activities of progressive farmer groups such and the WA No Tillage Farmer’s Association, Liebe Group, South West Premium Wheat Growers Association, WAFF and PGA.
      • Examine the concept of the ‘Foundation Chile’ model which will develop new ideas for primary and fishery products and industries.

      • Establish a world-class Fisheries Research and Development Centre to underpin fisheries management in the State. It will also be a centre for excellence for Indian Ocean rim countries like South Africa and Mauritius.
      • Establish a Centre for Excellence in Population Dynamics that will provide a training and development centre for national and international scientists and industry.
      • Provide additional funding for the continued research and development of aquaculture in Western Australia.
      • Fund the establishment of a comprehensive community based fish habitat monitoring program.
      • Establish a Fish Habitat Management Advisory Committee to provide expert advice on issues related to aquatic environmental and conservation matters.
      • Increase funding to Fishcare WA and continue to develop fish habitat reserves.
      • Implement by-catch action plans to minimise and where possible eliminate the take of non-target species.
      • Develop a Western Australian Marine Planning Strategy that will include a review of the legislative framework for marine planning in Western Australia.
      • Provide for a commitment to the Integrated Finfish Management initiative for the completion of a community consultation phase and implementation of outcomes.
      • Provide funding to support and expand the Volunteer Fishing Liaison Officer Scheme and support a scheme to involve young volunteers.
      • Create the Abrolhos Island Management Authority, which will provide for independent and integrated management of the Abrolhos Islands and surrounding waters.
      • Provide on-line and interactive service facilities to a wide sector of the Western Australian, national and international community.
      • Investigate the value of having a single Marine Management Agency to address the range of issues related to marine planning, commercial and recreational industries.
      • Continue to support and fund the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, RecfishWest and peak industry bodies from the Development and Better Interest Fund.