Kim Chance

Kim Chance

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

    Agriculture valued in 2005-06 State Budget

    27/05/2005 12:00 AM

    The Gallop Government today demonstrated confidence in Western Australia’s agriculture, food and fibre industries with $140million allocated in the State Budget to secure the sector’s vital economic contribution, an increase of 20 per cent from last year’s Budget.

    Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said the agriculture budget was geared to support industry development and producers in enhancing their profitability and the sustainability of their enterprises.

    “This budget demonstrates the Gallop Government’s commitment to ensuring regional Western Australia receives its fair share,” Mr Chance said.

    The Minister said the agriculture sector would also benefit from additional funds to the Department of Agriculture of $77.1million from the Australian Government and an anticipated $32.1million from external research corporations and industry groups.

    Major funding initiatives for 2005-06 included:
    • $28million in new funding to establish an integrated agriculture research institute with UWA, Murdoch and Curtin Universities;
    • $16.2million for salinity management, of which $14million is new money;
    • $4.5million for crop and grain legume research and development
    • $5.5million for the Carnarvon 2020 strategy;
    • $2million to identify and develop opportunities for tropical and pastoral industries in the State’s North;
    • $1million to increase value-adding opportunities through food technology research in conjunction with the food industry;
    • $480,000 over four years for continuation of the Men’s Health program run with the Health Department; and
    • $250,000 for the ‘Farming the Future’ sustainable agricultural practices project.
    Mr Chance said funding to the department would focus on ensuring the sustainability of WA agriculture through continued funding of salinity and climate research projects.

    A total of $35.2million had been allocated for sustainable agriculture projects, with additional funds from the Commonwealth and external funding bodies.

    “A total of $16.2million has been allocated to develop and promote viable salinity management options including rapid catchment appraisals, the catchment demonstration initiative, hydrology research, water management and recharge reduction,” the Minister said.

    “Projects focusing on climate change, including the impact on water resources, will continue to be a priority for funding.”

    Mr Chance said construction of the new $16million livestock centre at Muchea would start with $2.9million projected to be spent in 2005-06.

    He said agri-food industries, including retailing and the food service sector, represented more than nine per cent of Gross State Product in WA and employed more than 11 per cent of the State’s workforce.

    The agri-food industry represented the second largest export sector, with more than 82 per cent of the total value of production being exported.

    “The State Budget includes a total of $40.8million funding for biosecurity to ensure clean safe food production in WA,” the Minister said.

    “This represents an increased allocation of more than $1million in 2005-06 for improved animal disease risk mitigation and pest management in the rangelands.

    “Biosecurity reduces the risk of entry of serious animal and plant pests and diseases, as well as weeds. Research by the department is looking at improved management and control of established threats to agriculture.”

    The key projects included:
    • $1.4million for animal health diagnostic services;
    • $1.2million for weed and disease constraints (in partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation);
    • $800,000 for import risk assessments and biosecurity strategies;
    • $650,000 for plant pathology and entomology diagnostic services; and
    • $600,000 for emergency animal disease preparedness and response.
    In addition to limiting and managing biosecurity threats, the department proactively promoted WA produce to the world. Industry development and market research would receive $64million through the department.
    At a regional level, Budget highlights included:

    • $110,000 to increase the value of the Esperance Downs Research Station as a secure facility for agricultural and resource management research;
    • $100,000 to investigate the potential for the cattle industry to expand through development of summer active grass pasture systems;
    • $100,000 to investigate the future direction of the sheep industry and deliver targeted workshops on key elements of management;
    • $150,000 to assess the suitability of pasture species, especially perennials; and
    • their management for cropping and grazing benefits for profit and environment.
    Great Southern
    • $1.25million for analysis of farming systems to identify key risks and opportunities for farm businesses in the medium term;
    • $400,000 for sheep meat research and $200,000 for research in the pig industry;
    • $200,000 to promote cropping systems which maximise the return on hard setting, grey clay soils;
    • $150,000 for the development of sustainable and cost-effective sheep parasite control programs and $95,000 to monitor and assess the effectiveness of nematophagous fungi to control internal parasites; and
    • $150,000 for the development of the export seed potato industry and $120,000 to introduce new strawberry varieties with improved quality characteristics.
    • $800,000 to provide information and analytical tools to help evaluate sustainable farming systems options in response to increasing herbicide resistance;
    • $250,000 for integration of pastoral and agricultural beef production and improved supply chain management;
    • $100,000 for sheep meat industry development, including genetic improvement and a focus on ewe health; and
    • $252,000 in the Mid-West for Rapid Catchment Appraisal to identify areas at risk from high water tables and provide management options.
    • $16million to establish a new livestock centre at Muchea. The new livestock centre will provide selling facilities for more than $100,000 cattle and 800,000 sheep per year;
    • $195,000 toward development of a pilot series of workshops and associated publications covering lucerne/perennial grasses, deep drainage and surface water management;
    • investment in animal and plant biosecurity in the Wheatbelt region, including $380,000 plus industry funding toward the eradication of skeleton weed and $250,000 toward the regulation and management of declared plants;
    • $255,000 toward maintenance and of the State Barrier Fence; and
    • $300,000 to conduct rapid catchment appraisal in the lower Yilgarn area and $195,000 for engineering and management of surface and groundwater systems in the Wheatbelt.
    • $1.5million for dairy initiatives including animal production and pasture utilisation research on the Vasse Milk Farmlets, addressing environmental risks through the DairyCatch WA program, delivery of training courses and extension support, and research and development of next generation forage feedbases;
    • $150,000 to identify potential new markets for the State’s key export vegetable industries - carrots and cauliflower;
    • $100,000 to support further expansion of the WA wine industry with new varieties and $125,000 for table grape variety and production research;
    • $500,000 for ongoing projects with the apple industry. This will include new variety breeding and development, and innovative export market initiatives; and
    • investment in animal and plant biosecurity in the South-West and Peel regions includes $160,000 toward the eradication of footrot in sheep and $130,000 toward the management of chemical residue risk in cattle and $150,000 for neglected orchards program.
    • $500,000 joint State/Commonwealth project to identify, evaluate and implement rural nutrient management best practices for Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary catchments;
    • $120,000 for small farm planning workshops, improved land management and sustainable farming systems in the Swan/Canning catchment;
    • $120,000 in conjunction with Alcoa for management of the release of Alkaloam in the Peel region; and
    • $80,000 including industry support for the further development and trial of soil amendments which promise substantial productivity and environmental benefits on the State’s deep sandy soils.
    • $2million (over four years) to develop new opportunities for tropical agriculture;
    • $2million (over two years) continued funding for the redevelopment of the Frank Wise Research Institute in Kununurra;
    • $280,000 to support targeted research and development for potential expansion of the Ord sugar industry and $80,000 for the development of new mango varieties;
    • $300,000 for the development of a sustainable cotton production system;
    • $560,000 for the cattle industry for sustainable grazing, reproduction, including fire reduction management, nutrition, live export development and skills training;
    • investment in animal and plant biosecurity in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions includes $200,000 for tuberculosis surveillance and maintenance of disease freedom and $275,000 for eradication of prickly acacia and increased control of Noogoora burr and mesquite; and
    • $300,000 plus matching pastoralist contribution toward the control of wild dogs and $365,000 plus matching pastoralist contributions toward the eradication of feral donkeys.
    • Through the Carnarvon 2020 Strategy, $5.5million will be used to progress the Quobba Coast Tourism Precinct, Brickhouse Horticulture Precinct, Meedo Horticulture Precinct, and Carnarvon Artesian Basin Rehabilitation Program;
    • investment in animal and plant biosecurity in the Gascoyne includes $40,000 plus matching pastoralist contributions toward the control of wild dogs and $100,000 for the management of feral goats, donkeys and camels, and surveillance for incursion of exotic pests;
    • $148,000 for inspection of existing pastoral leases in Gascoyne and Pilbara in support of the Pastoral Lands Board; and
    • $100,000 to review ‘new industry’ opportunities, with a focus on subtropical and temperate crops, counter-seasonal to the South-West. This will include finalisation of low input development system research on bananas.
    • $225,000 for the Pilbara cattle industry for sustainable grazing, reproduction, nutrition, live export development and skills training; and
    • $340,000 for the Western Australian Rangelands Monitoring System (WARMS) to provide Government with continued reporting on rangeland condition.
    Minister's office: 9213 6700