Cash boost for hemp

South Western Times - - Front Page - Jack­son Bar­rett

The State Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $35,000 to a pro­posed hemp pro­cess­ing plant in Col­lie.

Col­lie is the Gov­ern­ment’s pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for the plant and the fund­ing will al­low the Western Aus­tralian Hemp Grow­ers’ Co-Op to de­velop a busi­ness case for the fa­cil­ity.

The State Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $35,000 to a pro­posed hemp pro­cess­ing plant in Col­lie.

Col­lie is the gov­ern­ment’s pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for the plant and the fund­ing will al­low the Western Aus­tralian Hemp Grow­ers’ Co-Op to de­velop a busi­ness case for the fa­cil­ity.

The pro­posed fa­cil­ity would ser­vice 37 grow­ers across the State.

Min­is­ter for Re­gional Devel­op­ment Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the grow­ing industry would in­crease em­ploy­ment in Col­lie.

“The hemp industry is gain­ing ground in WA, li­cences have more than dou­bled over the past two years,” she said.

“An in­dus­trial hemp pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity in Col­lie would cre­ate jobs as well as present grow­ers with op­por­tu­ni­ties for diver­si­fi­ca­tion in and around the re­gion.”

Col­lie Cham­ber of Com­merce and Industry chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Bec Woods said di­ver­sity in the re­gion was im­por­tant.

“Di­ver­sity of our econ­omy is great as it cre­ates em­ploy­ment and gives se­cu­rity to the on­go­ing growth of Col­lie,” she said.

The fa­cil­ity would cre­ate jobs in grow­ing and pro­cess­ing and may en­able some farm­ers to ex­pand into a new busi­ness stream.

WA Hemp Grow­ers’ Co-Op ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Gail Stub­ber said prox­im­ity to farm­ers and busi­nesses made Col­lie the best op­tion.

“Part of our fea­si­bil­ity study was that we needed a pro­cess­ing plant within 100km of farm­ers and Col­lie is a farm­ing area with the right rain pro­file for hemp,” Ms Stub­ber said.

“There is also a lot of in­ter­est in help­ing build busi­nesses in Col­lie. “It fits in well with a few things.” The Co-Op is now meet­ing with the Col­lie Cham­ber of Com­merce and Industry as well as real es­tate agents in the area as they fur­ther ex­plore op­tions for land.

“Build­ing a pro­cess­ing unit means noth­ing if we don’t have farm­ers on one end to bring stuff in and busi­nesses on the other end to take stuff out,” Ms Stub­ber said.

Hemp is used com­mer­cially for cos­metic prod­ucts, food, build­ing prod­ucts and in the cre­ation of bio­plas­tics.

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