Agriculture Minister Kim Chance today launched an integrated research institute to ensure Western Australian agricultural research and development provides leading edge technology for the industry and the environment.
The launch coincides with National Science Week, which aims to highlight the role of science, technology and innovation in maintaining and improving our society, economy and the environment.
Mr Chance said WA’s newest science-based organisation intended to consolidate research development and teaching in agriculture, food and natural resource management.
“Agricultural Research Western Australia (ARWA) will be able to combine bigger, more capable scientific teams that are equipped to tackle the big issues and opportunities facing WA agriculture,” the Minister said.
“This means WA will be well positioned to increase its share of national research and development funding, and to attract international research projects.”
ARWA integrates the agricultural research and research training of Curtin University of Technology, the Department of Agriculture, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia.
“The State Government committed $28million in the 2005-06 Budget to develop the first phase of ARWA’s facilities and remains committed to developing the remainder once this phase is under way,” Mr Chance said.
“Agriculture is an industry that constantly seeks new ways to improve performance. Likewise, the agricultural research and education sectors are seeking to improve their ability to provide relevant, timely and cost-effective services and products.”
The Minister said ARWA would accommodate the specific needs of each partner organisation while harnessing the collective power of all four - a bold response that would provide many advantages for WA’s agricultural industries.
“By bringing the intellectual and physical resources of the four organisations together, ARWA will be established as a comprehensive and powerful research capability that would enable WA to address complex issues that affect the agricultural sector,” he said.
Mr Chance said there was still a lot of work to be done, including the development and construction of new research facilities at the universities’ Bentley, Crawley and Murdoch campuses.
The Gallop Government is providing new jobs and opportunities for Western Australians and protecting and enhancing the State’s unique environment.
Minister's office: 9213 6700