The McGowan Government is investing more than $40 million into Western Australia’s primary industries to grow the State’s food sector and create local jobs, as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
A suite of programs has been unveiled to drive business diversification and trade opportunities, develop the aquaculture industry, and support the expansion of the premium food and beverage manufacturing industry.
A key initiative is a $16.7 million four-year Food and Beverage Fund, which will drive jobs and State-wide investment through grant funding to agrifood businesses for capital expansion, relocation or feasibility studies to grow local processing.
The first component of the initiative kicks off today with the Value Add Investment Grants – a $6.5 million investment incentive scheme which will supercharge agricultural value-adding and processing from across metropolitan and regional WA.
Local food and beverage businesses can access matching funding to expand processing operations, taking WA’s top-quality fresh produce and turning it into a processed product for market – from breweries and bakeries to abattoirs and canning facilities.
This initiative builds on a similar program supporting agribusinesses in regional WA, which generated about $22 million in private sector investment and close to 300 jobs.
The McGowan Government’s food industries recovery package also includes:
- $125,000 towards the installation of ‘Flupsies’, marine-based shellfish nursery modules, to grow commercial aquaculture in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid-West and South Coast;
- $500,000 to provide infrastructure and resources at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Hillarys research facility to support research to develop tropical black lip rock oyster and other shellfish species;
- $700,000 towards the construction of a greenhouse and nursery at DPIRD’s Albany Shellfish Hatchery to increase production capacity;
- $1.5 million to fast-track completion of the Katanning sheep research facility and support world-class sheep research in Western Australia;
- $6 million over four years to continue delivering the Food Industry Innovation program to support regional value-added food and beverage businesses and promote collaboration across the supply chain;
- funding to fast-track the design and construction of DPIRD’s Geraldton Marine Finfish Nursery and increase its production capability;
- $8.1 million investment over four years to continue the successful eConnected Grainbelt program; and
- $8.3 million over four years to grow the value of the northern beef industry through the Northern Beef Development program.
The McGowan Government has already provided a range of fee relief measures to support commercial fishers throughout the State, and has supported the Jobs in WA Food & Ag website and campaign to assist primary producers to manage skill shortages through the pandemic.
More information on the Value Add Investment Grants program is available from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s website.
For more information on the WA Recovery Plan, visit https://inthistogether.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“As we seek to recover from the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, the WA Government is working to stimulate and unlock investment into the primary industries sector, support economic diversification, technology adoption, revenue growth and more jobs.
“WA’s food and beverage industry is in a unique position to support the State’s recovery efforts, retain jobs and take advantage of key market opportunities.”
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Western Australia is a leading primary producer and exporter, however only one fifth of our export value is generated by processed foods.
“This is significant opportunity to support jobs and diversify our manufacturing and processing capability by supporting this sector, in addition to capturing value-adding markets for WA’s high-quality primary production products.
“The McGowan Government is helping build the capability of food and beverage businesses to grow, invest and export.”
As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
“These strategic investments will provide our valuable fisheries sector with some certainty and security from which to move forward and adapt to the new global post-COVID operating environment.
“The package will not only help the sector and coastal communities rebuild, it will also stimulate investment, enabling new opportunities and industries to realise their potential.
“I am positive about the future of our fisheries and the ability of the sector to rise from the challenges of 2020 to be a stronger, more resilient and significant contributor to the economic growth of our State.”