- $12.5 million to upgrade and expand Grains Centre of Excellence at Horsham
- Research capacity boosted with new laboratories, greenhouses & infrastructure
- Napthine Coalition is building a better agriculture industry for Victoria
A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $12.5 million to upgrade Victoria’s Grains Centre of Excellence, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh announced today.
Mr Walsh, joined by The Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy, said the $12.5 million investment would enhance research capabilities at the Horsham centre.
“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition recognises that modern facilities are crucial to equipping our research centres to undertake important, cutting-edge work that supports our agricultural industries,” Mr Walsh said.
“Under a re-elected Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government, $12.5 million will be invested into a modernisation project at the Horsham centre that will improve and expand existing laboratories and greenhouses, and upgrade critical infrastructure including power, water, IT capacity and road access.”
Ms Kealy welcomed the announcement and said it would be another enhancement to Horsham’s growing research hub.
“The creation of the Australian Grains Genebank and the new Bayer CropScience wheat and oilseed breeding centre at Longerenong College alongside an upgraded Grains Centre of Excellence at Horsham will help establish Horsham as the leading place for grains research in Australia,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Grains Centre of Excellence modernisation project will help us to attract and retain world-leading scientists here at Horsham.
“The Nationals in government set a goal to double food and fibre production in Victoria by 2030, and we are committed to making the research, development and extension investments that are critical to helping our farmers meet that target.”
Mr Walsh said the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s commitment to farmers was in stark contrast to Labor, which failed to commit any additional funding for critical research, development and extension work.
“This $12.5 million commitment comes on top of the additional $60 million a re-elected Coalition Government has already committed for a further four years of the successful Growing Food and Fibre initiative, which partners with industry to co-invest in strategic research, development and extension projects,” Mr Walsh said.
“Only the Liberal-Nationals Coalition has committed the funding necessary to deliver the research, development and extension programs needed that will help Victoria’s food and fibre producers increase productivity and profitability.”
In 2013-14 Victorian cereal, oilseed, pulse and processed grain exports totalled $1.955 billion.
· $10.4 million war on weeds, rabbits under a re-elected Liberal Nationals Coalition
· Supporting councils to control pest weeds and rabbits on rural and regional roads
· Liberal Nationals Coalition delivering for Victoria’s farmers
A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will commit a further $10.4 million over the next four years to assist rural and regional councils to fight the war on pest weeds and rabbits on municipal roadsides.
Minister for Local Government Tim Bull and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh today announced the Victorian Coalition would be extending the Government’s successful Roadside Weeds and Pests Management Program if re-elected on 29 November to help build a sustainable Victoria.
Mr Bull said rural roadsides can be a major corridor for the spread of weeds and rabbits, which in turn can threaten the state’s agricultural productivity, biosecurity and environmental assets.
“The Coalition recognises the challenges facing small rural and regional councils in managing assets and controlling pests which is why we are committed to providing local government with this funding assistance,” Mr Bull said.
“This renewed commitment provides for a more than doubling of the level of assistance provided to councils under the previous Labor Government.
“By committing a further $10.4 million to roadside weed and rabbit control if re-elected, the Coalition will be helping put more downward pressure on council rates.”
Mr Walsh said 56 rural and regional councils will benefit from the extended roadside weeds and rabbit control program.
“The Coalition has worked constructively to build a partnership between the Department of Environment and Primary industries and the local government sector to clarify responsibilities for the control of pest weeds and rabbits on roadsides,” Mr Walsh said.
“Councils have reported treating more than 14,000 kilometres of roadsides for rabbits and weeds over the past two years under this program.
“Funding will be strictly targeted to deliver on-ground works controlling pest weeds and rabbits.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition has given councils the ability to set roadside pest management plans in
consultation with their communities to target weed and rabbit control activities where they would have the greatest positive impact.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has strongly supported this Coalition election commitment with VFF president Peter Tuohey welcoming the extra investment in roadside pests and weeds.
“It’s vital that councils get the funding they need to manage pest and weeds along these road corridors, given their resources,” Mr Tuohey said.
“If councils don’t do this work these roadsides end up acting as a breeding ground for weeds and vermin to invade our farms.”
Mr Bull said Labor had failed to commit to the roadside weeds and rabbits control program meaning rural rates would rise and farm biosecurity would be threatened under an Andrews Labor government.