Community reference group for Midlands
Released 06 Jul 2015
Mr Shane Love MLA addressing the recent community workshop in Jurien Bay
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Regional Development; Lands and Member for Moore - Mr Shane Love MLA, has recently been announced as the chair of the newly formed Community Reference Group for the Midlands groundwater and land assessment project.
The project is part of the State Government's $40 million Royalties for Regions funded Water for Food program, providing a boost to regional Western Australian communities through the development and diversification of the agriculture and food sectors.
Speaking at the formal launch of the Midlands project in Moora recently, Water Minister Mia Davies said the wealth of business and agriculture experience Mr Love brought to the group would be invaluable in supporting the project.
"Through his local knowledge, skills and wide ranging experience, Mr Love will be able to coordinate the reference group to provide strategic advice and expertise on a range of local issues," Ms Davies said.
"The reference group will provide advice on a range of technical, operational and financial matters related to the project, which will greatly benefit local growers who currently have little or no water available for expansion."
Addressing the audience at the launch event, Mr Love said he was delighted to be appointed chair of the group and looked forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders.
"I am excited to be chairing the reference group and to be working collaboratively with the project team on what is an extremely exciting opportunity for this region," Mr Love said.
"This project - confirming the quality, suitability and sustainability of water to support agricultural expansion, will create long term economic benefits for the Mid West and Wheatbelt regions."
The Midlands project aims to identify one or more 2,000 – 3,000 hectare precincts suitable for intensive irrigated horticulture within a broad 500,000 hectare envelope north of the Gingin irrigation district, encompassing the Moora-Badgingarra-Dongara areas.
Following the launch, the Community Reference Group has held its inaugural meeting with membership including:
- Department of Agriculture and Food
- Department of Water,
- Mid-West Development Commission
- Wheatbelt Development Commission
- Western Australian Local Government Association (representing local shires)
- Irrigation Australia Ltd,
- Northern Agricultural Catchment Council
- Agricultural Produce Commission
A day long community workshop was also recently held with an over 80 strong crowd participating.
Participants including industry, farmers, scientific experts and the local community raised important considerations and highlighted the need for thoroughly assessing an area's potential for development.
Some key issues discussed included infrastructure requirements, planning measures to ensure industries can be developed, potential markets and investment package prerequisites.
Find out more about the Midlands project.
Contact: Darren O'Malley
Phone: (08) 6364 7109 / 0438 025 942