The McGowan Government is investing $1.4 million in new programs and upgrades at the Carnarvon Research Facility to support a sustainable, profitable and diverse horticultural industry in the Gascoyne.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Carnarvon Research Facility has been underutilised for years, despite Carnarvon horticulture’s significant contribution to the region’s economy.
The new investment will deliver a research program focused on protected cropping, best practice management and improved biosecurity.
New smart technology including remote crop, weather and irrigation monitoring sensors will be demonstrated and a web-based interface is being developed to make the information available to growers and researchers in the region.
Recruitment is underway for new horticultural staff to further build capacity through partnerships with local consultants and experienced researchers from both Western Australia and across Australia.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the new investment today at the Gascoyne Food Festival in Carnarvon.
The Gascoyne Food Festival, an initiative of the Gascoyne Food Council, runs from August 7 to September 7, with food-focused events held in Carnarvon, Dirk Hartog Island, Red Bluff, Exmouth, Wooramel and Mount Augustus.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The Carnarvon Research Facility should be a buzzing hub of horticultural excellence for the Gascoyne – instead, damage to the facility sustained in a 2015 cyclone had been left unrepaired, and equipment was dated and in need of replacement.
“We’re revitalising the facility with a $1.4 million funding injection – investing in new equipment, protected cropping facilities, demonstration smart technology and more.
“We’re also recruiting new horticultural scientists to the region to ensure research at the facility is locally driven and locally focused.
“Horticulture is absolutely central to Carnarvon’s economy and identity, and our investment – alongside fantastic events like the Gascoyne Food Festival – will help this sector to grow and prosper.”