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NSW BUDGET: $50 MILLION INJECTION FOR WORLD-CLASS AGRICULTURE RESEARCH

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair today announced a $50 million investment in the state’s primary industries research stations to help bolster on-farm productivity and protect the $15 billion sector.
 
Mr Perrottet said this investment underpins the future growth and sustainability of the state’s primary industries which, given the current drought conditions, could not come at a more important time.
 
“Our primary industries sector sustains communities across rural and regional NSW and the industry directly supports almost 80,000 jobs and a further 75,000 indirect manufacturing jobs,” Mr Perrottet said.
 
“From one end of NSW to the other, the State’s 26,000 farms and our rural and regional communities will benefit from these state-of-the-art upgrades.”
 
“This investment recognises the key role of NSW primary industries in driving the state’s economy.
 
“The sector has grown by more than 32 per cent over the past four years and is now worth more than $15 billion.”
 
Mr Blair said this Budget commitment into research and development capability is critical for NSW to remain competitive with international markets.
 
“These upgrades to the state's research stations will cement NSW as Australia’s leader in agriculture, fisheries and biosecurity research,” Mr Blair said.
 
“We are sending a clear signal to our farmers and the farming sector, who are enduring a cold, dry winter, that we are committed to seeing these times through and continuing the sector’s growth. 
 
“This will deliver a new generation of scientific breakthroughs like drought-tolerant crop varieties, data-driven on-farm decision making, fast-tracked genetic improvements in beef and lamb, and revolutionary biological control of pests.
 
“New glasshouses, exotic disease diagnostic instruments, networks of on-farm sensor and data technology across DPI institutes, aquaculture and fish breeding research material and plant pathology facilities are all included.
 
“This investment will ensure that we look after our farmers not just now, but well into the future and for many generations to come.” 
 
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is ranked in the top one per cent of research organisations globally in the fields of agricultural and plant and animal science.
 
The $50 million investment, which includes a $40 million reservation from the Government’s Restart NSW infrastructure fund, will go towards:
 
  • $7.8 million for world-leading genome technology to double productivity gains for plant and livestock industries at Wagga Wagga, Menangle, Armidale and Tamworth
  • $6.2 million to protect against emergency plant and animal disease and pathogens at Menangle
  • $5.6 million to expand and upgrade marine aquaculture facilities to triple kingfish production in Port Stephens
  • $4.3 million towards glasshouse facilities for new grain and pasture research in Cowra and Glen Innes
  • $3.3 million for research to improve the biological control of pests at Grafton and Orange
  • $1.7 million to improve access to government services for customers and the primary industries sector at Wagga Wagga
  • $1.4 million towards plant pathology to protect against incursion of exotic pests at Wollongbar
  • $1.2 million to upgrade biosecurity collections to support world-leading risk identification and control at Orange
  • $1 million toward new agronomy infrastructure for soil and plant processing at Trangie
  • $0.9 million to improve industry engagement capability at Dareton
  • $0.45 million to improve pest insect and weed diagnostics capability at Wagga Wagga and Orange
  • $6.8 million to improve research facilities, equipment and safety statewide
  • $6 million to improve biosecurity emergency management, protecting primary industries statewide.
 
The NSW State Budget will be handed down on Tuesday 19 June.