The Western Australian Government has released its draft master plan for future expansion of the Gascoyne food production industry, including a $25 million investment to upgrade a pipeline delivering bulk water to irrigators from Carnarvon’s southern borefield.

The plan makes recommendations around providing stronger industry leadership, securing water and land resources, improving productivity and marketing, and planning for appropriate supporting infrastructure.”

To underpin the state government’s commitment to facilitating the implementation of several of the key recommendations of the master plan and finalising the CMAC report recommendations, the Ms Davies made several key announcements including in Carnarvon yesterday:

  • Allocating $300,000 to establish the Gascoyne Water Co-operative as the single bulk irrigation water service provider in the region
  • Increasing water security by making an extra one gigalitre of water available to existing irrigators in the precinct
  • Providing $450,000 to establish a single peak industry body that builds primary producer business capacity and drives strategic development

Western Australian Water Minister, Mia Davies, said, “The master plan builds on key strategic work already undertaken by the local community, including input from the Carnarvon Ministerial Advisory Committee, and was developed by the departments of Water and Agriculture and Food in consultation with other government agencies and the Gascoyne Community Reference Group.

“It demonstrates how through targeted investment, producer innovation and more efficient use of water and land, the community and state government can drive the region’s economic growth.”

Western Australian Agriculture and Food Minister, Mark Lewis, said the master plan provided the framework for bringing together the elements required to double the value of food production by 2030.

“Improved water availability and delivery, more land and a common strategic direction supported by a new peak industry body will provide the confidence needed to attract investment in agrifood production in the region,” Mr Lewis said.

“Work on the northern borefield is almost complete and under this plan, final steps will be made to allow full take and delivery of the extra four gigalitres of water for horticulture expansion developed under the Gascoyne Foodbowl initiative.”

Western Australian Regional Development Minister, Terry Redman, said the draft plan and associated steps underway were positive news for the region’s food production aspirations.

“We have provided $450,000 over two years, through the Gascoyne Development Commission, to support the establishment of a peak industry organisation, which is another priority action of the draft plan,” Mr Redman said.

“Primary producers, water service providers, industry and state and local governments all have a role to play under this plan, developing food precincts by working on the synergy of water availability and delivery, and suitable land and downstream processing opportunities.

“Our success in achieving significant growth in food production will be built on the work of the past, with a clear, strategic direction for combined action into the future, under this plan.”

The master plan project will align all current initiatives with the Gascoyne Regional Development Blueprint vision of doubling the value of primary food production in the Gascoyne.

Targets under the master plan are for the value of food production to increase from $165 million to $400 million by 2030. 

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