- McGowan Government delivers commitment to provide replacement soil to Carnarvon growers significantly affected by floods
- Program to be reinforced by catchment-wide review to protect crops and build business resilience
The McGowan Government has secured the necessary replacement soil for Carnarvon fruit and vegetable growers significantly affected by flooding in February.
Considerable work has been undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to secure suitable soil and manage environmental, heritage and native title issues.
Eligible growers will be contacted this week to arrange replacement of suitable soil to assist recovery from inundation that occurred on production paddocks in the Carnarvon Irrigation Area.
While damage to paddocks was not as widespread as in previous floods, more than 30 growers reported erosion.
Soil will be available from the end of this week following a site selection process and will be provided to growers to re-level their paddocks with fertile soil.
Site selection took into account adherence to the guidelines issued following the last major flood event in Carnarvon.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is coordinating the State Government's replacement soil program, which will include a review of Carnarvon flood plain management and the catchment plan to mitigate the impact of future flooding events.
The flood plain review will have a strong focus on soil management, with the expectation that growers will implement sustainable conservation practices to reduce the risk of erosion and the need for soil replacement.
The Carnarvon irrigation area plays an important role in providing quality fresh produce to the domestic market, including tomatoes, capsicums, sweet corn, mangoes, asparagus, melons, bananas, herbs and chillies, worth up to $100 million per annum.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This soil replacement program - unique to Carnarvon - will help growers affected by the February floods get back on their feet and reposition their businesses on a sound footing for future production.
"This replacement soil will assist affected growers who followed the guidelines developed after the previous major floods to get paddocks back into their production system.
"We see many growers have already levelled farm tracks and paddocks so annual crop planting can continue, and others who have undertaken remedial action and adopted farm practices to protect their crops from water erosion.
"It is important for industry to gather the lessons learned from this flood event and invest in strategies that prevent this threat to production and builds long term business resilience."
Minister's office - 6552 6200