State Parliament has passed legislation to extend the sheep lice eradication fund for a further five years, with the present method of collecting grower contributions to be continued.
Agriculture Minister Ernie Bridge said sheep lice cost the Western Australian wool industry millions of dollars each year, and was a problem which could not be ignored.
He said there had been bipartisan support in Parliament for the program, even though the original goal of eradication might not be achieved.
The program is jointly funded by the wool industry and the Department of Agriculture, and while a review committee had recommended changing grower contributions from a flat rate system to a production based levy, Mr Bridge said the proposal had caused concerns within industry.
As there had been insufficient time to debate and resolve the issue, he said the flat rate system had been retained.
He would be calling on industry to resolve its position and report to him later this year, when he would consider the possibility of further administrative or legislative changes.
The program would aim to reduce the number of infested flocks to five per cent in the agricultural areas and 10 per cent in pastoral areas over the next five years.
Mr Bridge said that while the sheep lice program had its critics, there had been widespread support for the program. Many growers and industry representatives, as well as the Department of Agriculture, had worked hard to provide something of benefit to the wool industry.