WA agricultural grower groups are the latest victim in Labor’s war on Royalties for Regions, after it was confirmed $6 million would be cut from the Grower Group Research and Development Grant (GGRDG) program.
The Royalties for Regions-funded GGRDG program was initiated by the previous Government, and championed by The Nationals WA as part of the Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative.
Member for Roe Peter Rundle MLA said the decision by the Perth-based Minister for Agriculture illustrated Labor’s lack of understanding on the social and economic benefits grower groups such as South East Premium Wheatgrowers Association and Southern Dirt had throughout Roe.
“Grower groups play a central role in increasing the productivity and profitability of farm businesses by adapting research to farmer-member needs to deliver locally relevant research projects, technology and information in various zones across the State,” Mr Rundle said.
“The industry-led research, development and extension undertaken by grower groups is invaluable and ensures WA farmers remain competitive in an ever-changing market.
“Grower groups also provide local employment opportunities, and serve as important social hubs which encourage farmer-to-farmer education and community engagement.”
The Nationals spokesperson for Agriculture Hon Colin de Grussa MLC said grower groups were being punished so Labor could fund election commitments in Perth.
“The State Government claims to be focused on job creation, yet it is slashing funding from a program that facilitates local employment, training and development,” Mr de Grussa said.
“When questioned in Parliament the Minister has continually said all Royalties for Regions projects are under review but it is now clear the McGowan Government has already decided agriculture is not one of its priorities.
“The Nationals WA will hold the Labor Government to account to ensure agriculture is not put on the back burner.”
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