A McGowan Government investment has helped kickstart hemp processing in the South-West, with a new processing facility now operational in Margaret River.
The Margaret River Hemp Processing facility, the first of its kind in Western Australia, is processing locally grown hemp into hurd, fibre and fines for the building and textile industries.
With a $399,000 funding boost through the McGowan Government’s Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund and Industrial Hemp Grants Scheme, the facility was able to get up and running and expand to meet local demand.
The hurd, taken from the core of the hemp stem, is being used to make hempcrete masonry walls featured in sustainable hemp homes, as well as for horse and pet bedding and hydro mulch. The fibre is suitable for insulation and mattress padding.
South-West building company Hemp Homes Australia has used material processed at the local facility to build hemp houses in Margaret River.
Hemp is an emerging industry, with processed industrial hemp materials having the potential to replace cardboard, paper, wood and even plastics in many applications across the building, textile and industrial sectors in the future.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The Margaret River Hemp Processing facility is up and running, opening up a new and job-creating industry for the South-West.
“Local processing is critical to drive the emerging hemp industry in the South-West – it makes hemp a more valuable cropping option.
“Margaret River builder Gary Rogers and Esperance farmer David Campbell have done a great job to have the vision and commitment to get this project off the ground.
“We invest in regional projects like this to support industry expansion and diversification of local economies.”
As stated by Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:
“It is fantastic to see emerging industries such as hemp growing and processing starting up in our region.
“Local innovation is creating local jobs right here in the South-West. It is exciting to see the potential for future expansion in this innovative new industry.”