Unis ex­press in­ter­est in ag in­sti­tute

Pilbara News - - State Budget - Tom Zaun­mayr.

Talks around estab­lish­ing a North­ern In­sti­tute to at­tract agri­cul­ture re­search fund­ing are pro­gress­ing, with WA uni­ver­si­ties show­ing in­ter­est in the proposal.

At a busi­ness lunch in Kar­ratha last week, Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan re­it­er­ated her desire to es­tab­lish a uni­ver­sity fo­cus­ing on agri­cul­ture and aqua­cul­ture re­search in the North West.

“I don’t want to see north­ern agri­cul­ture con­tinue to be run from Bun­bury, Perth and Esper­ance,” she said.

“It makes much more sense to have that ca­pa­bil­ity work­ing up here in the re­gions.

“In terms of re­search dol­lars. . . we are get­ting bread­crumbs here be­cause we don’t ac­tu­ally have a for­mal ter­tiary re­search in­sti­tute pres­ence.”

Ms MacTier­nan said West Aus­tralian uni­ver­si­ties had shown in­ter­est in estab­lish­ing a pres­ence in the North West af­ter re­cent talks.

If the idea were to gain legs, such a fa­cil­ity could run a sim­i­lar model to those on the east coast such as James Cook and Charles Dar­win uni­ver­si­ties, which at­tract a high level of fund­ing for re­search, into North­ern Aus­tralia agri­cul­ture and aqua­cul­ture.

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