The Western Australian government has announced plans to maintain strong year-round horticultural production in the state’s north metropolitan region, following report findings on water allocation and land use issues.
The North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce has recently delivered its report examining water allocation and land use issues in North Wanneroo to the state government.
North Wanneroo has been a traditional farming area providing seasonal, fresh fruit and vegetable supplies to Perth, interstate and overseas, with an estimated production value of agricultural production of $47.7 million in 2015-16.
State Agriculture and Food minister Alannah MacTiernan, said that the taskforce chair Sabine Winton and the committee had worked hard to deal with this challenge of sustaining urban horticulture in a drying climate.
“North Wanneroo’s agriculture industry continues to make a significant contribution to the local economy and the state’s agricultural exports, and it is important that we keep our existing irrigated land to supply fresh and diverse produce to the people of Perth,” MacTiernan said.
“Now that we have clarity on water allocation for the next 10 years, we can work together with industry to improve water efficiency.”
In response to the report findings, the WA government will develop a business case for a new leasehold agri-precinct in State Forest 65 in North Wanneroo, incorporating the use of recycled water.
The government will also invest in a new Water Use Efficiency Program to support growers and industry to assess and promote technology options that improve efficient water use, ensuring industry viability in a drying climate.
“There are constraints around water availability and growers need to be supported to operate in a drier climate. Our Water Use Efficiency Program will assess techniques and systems to help growers,” MacTiernan said.
“The state government will work with growers and the local community to develop a water scheme and lead a cost benefit analysis on a new agricultural precinct at State Forest 65.
“We will also be making a case for Commonwealth funding through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.”