Government announces our $5m role in war on farming pests, disease

ANNOUNCEMENTS: NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair at the Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. Photo: COWRA GUARDIAN
ANNOUNCEMENTS: NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair at the Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. Photo: COWRA GUARDIAN

ORANGE will share in almost $5 million of state funding for agricultural research and development to bolster on-farm productivity and help protect the $15 billion sector from devastating pests and diseases.

The money is part of a $20 million roll-out by the NSW government which is aimed at agriculture, fisheries and biosecurity research across the state.

Orange will play a direct part in three programs: $3.3 million for biological control of pests shared with Grafton; $1.2 million to upgrade biosecurity collections; and $450,000 split with Wagga Wagga to improve pest insect and weed diagnostics.

Parliamentary secretary for Western NSW Rick Colless said the funding underscored “the value of [the] Orange electorate’s contribution to food and fibre production in NSW”.

“Orange will also share in $6.8 million to improve NSW Department of Primary Industries research facilities, equipment and safety, and $6 million to improve biosecurity emergency management to protect primary industries and our environment,” Mr Colless said.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said his government’s investment was critical for NSW to remain competitive with international markets.

“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,” Mr Blair said.

“This investment will ensure that we look after our farmers not just now, but well into the future and for many generations to come.”

Trangie and Cowra were among the other centres in regional NSW named to host programs.

The announcement came as hundreds of the state’s Nationals Party members gathered in Cowra for their Annual General Conference.

Over 60 motions – ranging in subject from health and tax policy to infrastructure and electricity – will come up for debate at the three-day event.

THEY’VE DONE THEIR RESEARCH

State-funded programs to be housed in Orange:

  • $3.3 million for research to improve the biological control of pests (also undertaken at Grafton).
  • $1.2 million to upgrade bio-security collections to support world-leading risk identification and control.
  • $450,000 to improve pest insect and weed diagnostics capability (also undertaken at Wagga Wagga).

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