The State Government today announced a $28million funding package in this year’s State Budget for Western Australia’s new agricultural research institute.
Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said the capital funding would be spent over four years to develop modern facilities for the institute that was a joint venture between the Department of Agriculture and Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
“The institute will combine the intellectual and physical resources of the department and the three universities to rapidly provide the State’s agriculture-based industries with advanced technology and skills to develop solutions to the challenges confronting the sector,” Mr Chance said.
“This includes farming systems design, land care and salinity abatement, new crop and plant development, bio-security, animal husbandry, and food and fibre technology."
The Minister said the allocation would fund the first phase of the institute’s capital works at the Murdoch University campus.
Funding for the next two phases of the Institute, planned for the University of WA’s Crawley site and Curtin University of Technology’s Bentley site, would be allocated once the first construction phase was under way.
“The major benefits are the combined strengths, resources and capabilities of the partners that will better align the research and teaching efforts,” Mr Chance said.
“There will be larger, more capable scientific teams to work on the State’s agricultural issues and opportunities, meaning WA will be well positioned to increase its share of national research and development funding.”
The Department of Agriculture will maintain a State-wide network of offices and research stations, including specialist centres based at Northam, Manjimup and Kununurra.
The Minister said the Government’s commitment underpinned the future development of the State’s food and fibre sector, which contributed about $6billion annually to the Gross State Product and provided employment directly and indirectly for 190,000 Western Australians.
"Investing in modern facilities and fostering the knowledge infrastructure through stronger research teams will enable the State to develop, attract and retain high calibre scientists who would contribute to improving the future performance of our agriculture and food sector,” he said.
“The Gallop Government is providing new jobs and opportunities for Western Australians.”
Minister's office: 9213 6700