New WA state government funding announced

Western Dairy has welcomed the decision by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) to extend its funding contribution to the organisation’s research and extension hub project in Bunbury.

The announcement, made by Minister for Agriculture Alannah MacTiernan, is the next chapter in the growth and development of the RD&E Hub, that was formed in 2015 when the state government advised it was exiting on-farm dairy R&D.

With strong backing from Dairy Australia, Western Dairy and DPIRD negotiated an initiative that resulted in dairy scientists working for industry rather than government.

“It was really important to all of us to retain our dairy science capability so that WA dairy farmers had access to regionally relevant feedbase R&D,” said Western Dairy chairman Grant Evans.

“We are incredibly fortunate that we have significant levy investment in WA from Dairy Australia - proportionally more per farmer than other regions because of our isolation and size. That level of contribution gave us excellent leverage with the state Government and capacity to provide the business case for state investment in the work carried out by Western Dairy.”

According to Mr Evans, the extension of the industry-government partnership via the $200,000 state government contribution over the next two years, is a critical one.

“WA is the smallest dairying state producing only 4pc of the national milk production, but it plays a critical role in providing the drinking milk requirements of this state,” Mr Evans said.

“However, as with all industries, we must continue to innovate and grow in order to remain viable and relevant in the global market place. We must have robust businesses and have access to the very latest technical support to enable them.

“The Western Dairy hub plays a key role in delivering that support and to have the confidence of an extension of funding means we can now focus on extracting maximum value for our dairy farmers.”

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