Mixed-bag Bud­get

Countryman - - NEWS -

WAFarm­ers said the State Bud­get was a “mixed bag” for farm­ers.

Pres­i­dent Tony York said he was pleased to see a $30 mil­lion in­vest­ment to­wards grains re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

“We also wel­come the $40 mil­lion com­mit­ment to­wards re­gional telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, an­other is­sue we raised in the lead-up to the elec­tion, and the $633,000 com­mit­ment for the WA Wild Dog Ac­tion Plan,” he said.

Mr York said the Bud­get had a strong fo­cus on rail, roads and ports, but was lack­ing in other ar­eas.

“The State Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $10.5 mil­lion to de­velop the Ke­mer­ton and Shotts in­dus­trial parks to cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness de­vel­op­ments, as well as $10 mil­lion to plan for the rail to the park, and plan­ning for the cru­cial de­vel­op­ment of the Bun­bury port,” he said.

“Given these in­vest­ments, we are in­ter­ested to un­der­stand whether the State Gov­ern­ment is ear­mark­ing the Ke­mer­ton area as a po­ten­tial site for the sa­le­yards.”

Farm­ers and the pub­lic are in­vited to at­tend the fol­low­ing events:

6.30pm, Fri­day, Septem­ber 15 HBF Sta­dium, 100 Stephen­son Av­enue, Mt Clare­mont

10am, Tues­day, Septem­ber 19 RSM Bus­sel­ton, Unit 2/2 Fair­bairn Road, Bus­sel­ton

6pm din­ner; 6.30-8.30pm meet­ing, Thurs­day, Septem­ber 21 Corn­wall Ho­tel, Nar­ro­gin

16 Doney Street, Nar­ro­gin

Satur­day, Septem­ber 23, to Satur­day, Septem­ber 30 Clare­mont Show­grounds

10.30am, Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 7 Swan Val­ley

For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter, con­tact WAFarm­ers on 9486 2100, or re­cep­tion@wafarm­ers.org.au or visit www.wafarm­ers.org.au/events. WAFarm­ers has dubbed the McGowan La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s first State Bud­get as a mixed bag, af­ter de­liv­ery of the papers last week.

WAFarm­ers pres­i­dent Tony York said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had hoped for more for agri­cul­ture, but recog­nised that due to only very small growth in 2016-17, the State Gov­ern­ment had done well to repri­ori­tise ex­pen­di­ture so that more than 80 per cent of their elec­tion com­mit­ment costs would be funded from within the ex­ist­ing Bud­get.

“The State’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor has re­ceived mod­est gains from the State Bud­get, with a num­ber of key projects be­ing ad­dressed in the papers, how­ever there were also sig­nif­i­cant omis­sions which in­dus­try was ex­pect­ing to be ad­dressed,” Mr York said.

“Hav­ing raised the is­sue of grains re­search and de­vel­op­ment in our State elec­tion plat­form and met with the State Gov­ern­ment re­gard­ing this since their elec­tion, we are pleased to see a $30 mil­lion in­vest­ment to­wards this im­por­tant work.

“We also wel­come the $40 mil­lion com­mit­ment to­wards re­gional telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, an­other is­sue we raised in the lead-up to the elec­tion, and the $633,000 com­mit­ment for the WA Wild Dog Ac­tion Plan.”

Mr York said the Bud­get had a strong fo­cus on rail, roads and ports, but was lack­ing in other ar­eas.

“While ser­vice de­liv­ery from the Bud­get is thin, par­tic­u­larly with the ces­sa­tion of pro­grams un­der the Seiz­ing the Op­por­tu­nity ini­tia­tive, this has been bal­anced with a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in re­gional trans­port in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

“Re­gional rail, roads and ports are set to be boosted with a $463 mil­lion in­jec­tion of fund­ing, which is crit­i­cally im­por­tant as agri­cul­ture be­comes in­creas­ingly de­pen­dent on ef­fi­cient trans­port link­ages.

“While we ap­plaud this com­mit­ment, we are dis­ap­pointed that the Bud­get does not out­line fund­ing for is­sues in­clud­ing dairy in­vest­ment and value-adding op­por­tu­ni­ties, multi-peril crop in­sur­ance or suc­ces­sion plan­ning, all is­sues that the sec­tor cur­rently needs sup­port with.”

Mr York said WAFarm­ers was in­ter­ested in the com­mit­ments made to­wards de­vel­op­ing the area around Bun­bury.

“In­dus­try knows that the Boy­anup Sa­le­yards lease ex­pires in 2022 and that a new ser­vice is needed to sup­port the live­stock in­dus­try,” he said.

“The State Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $10.5 mil­lion to de­velop the Ke­mer­ton and Shotts in­dus­trial parks to cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness de­vel­op­ments, as well as $10 mil­lion to plan for the rail to the park, and plan­ning for the cru­cial de­vel­op­ment of the Bun­bury Port.

“Given these in­vest­ments, we are in­ter­ested to un­der­stand whether the State Gov­ern­ment is ear­mark­ing the Ke­mer­ton area as a po­ten­tial site for the sa­le­yards.”

Mr York said in­dus­try looked for­ward to the re­lease of fur­ther in­for­ma­tion from the Of­fice of the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Food re­gard­ing spe­cific projects and spend­ing de­tails.

“With some projects hav­ing fund­ing com­mit­ments and oth­ers be­ing re­branded, we need clar­ity from the Min­is­ter (Alan­nah MacTier­nan) on how she will di­rect the depart­ment to roll out the Bud­get ini­tia­tives,” he said.

The are mixed Bud­get for­tunes for the State’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

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