Primary Industry Minister Monty House has welcomed the announcement of a Centre for Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity to be based at the University of Western Australia in collaboration with AGWEST and CALM.
Mr House said that the progression of a successful agricultural industry is reliant on world class research and development and the centre will provide extensive research that will assist the productivity and profitability of Western Australian agriculture.
“The Cooperative Research Centre will investigate salt tolerant plant species and high water using crops as tools to manage salinity in Australia,” Mr House said.
“The centre will complement the efforts of the Coalition Government in providing increased research in new farming systems to meet sustainability challenges as well as engineering solutions such as drainage.
“The new Government will also continue to provide targeted, on-the-ground landcare funding, including the introduction of a new Farm Bush program which will provide innovative protection and establishment of native vegetation.
“To better support farmers’ landcare efforts, I remain committed to lobbying 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 action.
“I recognise the need to support farmers who have been prevented from clearing their land or who need assistance with the costs of managing large areas of bush.
“The Government has established a Bush Bank which is a revolving fund to purchase bushland from farmers; the Farm Bush Advisory Committee will also provide a special assistance scheme for farmers including compensation with support from the Federal Government.”
Mr House said that integrated farm forestry would continue to be supported in preference to fence to fence planting.
Media contact: Julie Cole 9481 2044