The Nationals WA will seek to include mandatory agriculture units in the WA curriculum after a motion was successfully passed at the Party’s State Conference in Exmouth last weekend.
Education spokesperson Peter Rundle said the introduction of a compulsory agriculture curriculum in primary and secondary schools would have many benefits.
“A greater emphasis on agriculture in our schools would help our students have a deeper understanding of the importance of the sector, and would promote rewarding career pathways into agribusiness or research and development,” Mr Rundle said.
“Australian farms produce high-quality food, grains and wines which are sought after around the world – but there is a lot of work that goes into developing and delivering these first-rate products.
“An agriculture curriculum would give WA students a greater awareness of where our food and fibre comes from, and serve to highlight the historical, cultural and economic importance of Australia’s agricultural sector.”
Mr Rundle said an unbiased and factual agriculture curriculum may also help “bridge the gap” between regional WA and the metro area.
“There appears to be a disconnect between how metropolitan residents view agriculture and our regional communities,” he said.
“Delivering a quality agriculture education could help dispel some of these misconceptions, and focus on promoting the many positive achievements of the sector and the varied career pathways in agriculture.
“It’s not all about working on a farm. You may be a local livestock agent, conduct research on soil and fertilisers for CSBP, or look at the economic impact of different grains for CBH.”
Mr Rundle said The Nationals WA would continue to develop the agriculture curriculum policy in consultation with industry, educators, and other key stakeholders.
“We will also be looking at the approach taken by the New South Wales Government, which has recently introduce their own agriculture curriculum in high-school.”
Also at the Exmouth State Conference, The Nationals WA also announced a $16.8 million commitment to boost the Boarding Away from Home Allowance (BAHA) if elected in 2021.
“Under our proposal, students and their families will receive $3,130 through BAHA – more than double what they currently receive under the McGowan Labor Government,” Mr Rundle said.