Ag boon

Min­is­ter spruiks amal­ga­ma­tion

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Gov­ern­ment’s new su­per de­part­ments will be a boon for re­gional in­dus­tries, ac­cord­ing to Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan.

Pre­mier Mark McGowan an­nounced the State’s 41 de­part­ments would be slashed to 25 last week. This in­cluded the amal­ga­ma­tion of re­gional de­vel­op­ment, de­vel­op­ment com­mis­sions, fish­eries, and agri­cul­ture and food.

Speak­ing in Kar­ratha on Fri­day, Ms MacTier­nan said the amal­ga­ma­tions were the pre­cur­sor to more peo­ple de­liv­er­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices in re­gional WA.

“Un­der the Lib­er­als and Na­tion­als we had agri­cul­ture split over four dif­fer­ent port­fo­lios be­cause of the green on blue wars,” she said.

“In the Pil­bara for ex­am­ple, at the mo­ment in agri­cul­ture you only have one per­son do­ing biose­cu­rity, not driv­ing the changes we need to make in our range­lands, agri­cul­ture and hor­ti­cul­ture.

“Ar­eas like ag and fish­eries, which are over­whelm­ingly re­gional, are go­ing to play an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant part in the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion for re­gional economies.”

Ms MacTier­nan said the amal­ga­ma­tions would at­tract a higher skill level to re­gional WA.

West­ern Aus­tralian Fish­ing In­dus­try Coun­cil act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Alex Ogg said the amal­ga­ma­tions could de­crease the abil­ity of the De­part­ment of Fish­eries to reg­u­late ma­rine resources.

“WAFIC was dis­ap­pointed at news that the Fish­eries De­part­ment is to be rel­e­gated as a stand­alone agency and in­stead will be com­bined with other de­part­ments in the new De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment,” Mr Ogg said.

“With the prom­ise of gov­ern­ment re­struc­ture clear in La­bor’s pre-elec­tion plat­form, WAFIC has lob­bied hard for the re­ten­tion of the De­part­ment of Fish­eries as a stand­alone agency.

“Queens­land had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence some years ago when its Fish­eries De­part­ment was amal­ga­mated with the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, with dele­te­ri­ous re­sult.” Mr Ogg said a con­ver­sa­tion with WA Fish­eries Min­is­ter Dave Kelly had eased some of the in­dus­try’s con­cerns.

The cre­ation of the De­part­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions, which groups to­gether at­trac­tions in­clud­ing na­tional parks, Kings Park, Rot­tnest Is­land and Perth Zoo, was wel­comed by Tourism Coun­cil WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Evan Hall.

“By com­bin­ing our State’s im­por­tant public at­trac­tions into one de­part­ment, there will be a greater abil­ity to present the best West­ern Aus­tralia has to of­fer, in turn at­tract­ing more vis­i­tors and pre­serv­ing jobs,” he said.

Mr Hall said it was im­por­tant to en­sure Tourism WA be­came a mar­ket-fo­cused or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan takes ques­tions in Kar­ratha.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.