Construction begins on new centre to boost agricultural innovation

Sod Turning: Construction begins on new centre to boost agricultural innovation. Photo: Supplied.
Sod Turning: Construction begins on new centre to boost agricultural innovation. Photo: Supplied.

Construction has begun on the the Centre for Innovation in Agriculture, which is tipped to deliver new breakthroughs and high-tech jobs in the industry across the Peel region.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie, who turned the sod at the new centre in North Dandalup on Wednesday, said the project would improve the quality and capability of the Peel’s existing agriculture sector.

“The Centre for Innovation in Agriculture will boost local Agri-research through the construction of a new laboratory building, complete with a computer lab, DNA genomics and a microbiology lab,” Mr Hastie said.

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“This will go hand-in-hand with a business incubation facility and will provide new office space.

“The centre is designed to conduct research that will lead to more productive and sustainable agriculture in the Peel region.

“We want to help farmers produce even higher quality food that can break into premium markets.

“Supporting initiatives like this is just one way the Morrison Government is backing local industries and jobs growth in the Peel region.” 

The centre is designed to conduct research that will lead to more productive and sustainable agriculture in the Peel region.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie

The initiative has been led by Professor Roger Dawkins, in partnership with Murdoch University, the Peel Development Commission and the Shire of Murray.

The project received $2.5 million last year from the Coalition government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF). 

Professor Dawkins matched that $2.5 million federal funding with his own foundation’s money.

Dawkins said the project has sparked a great deal of interest. 

“We have also recently reached an agreement with Soils for Life, an Australian non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging the widest possible adoption of regenerative landscape management practices across rural, remote and urban environments, to undertake a trial with innovative WA farmers undertaking regenerative agricultural practices.

“It is essential to support advanced research activities and early-stage start-ups focussed on solving problems in the $7.8 trillion global agri-food industry.  We are making it happen by collaborating with industry, all levels of government, Murdoch University and international organisations.”

Deputy Prime Minister and infrastructure, transport and regional development minister Michael McCormack said government’s $2.5 million investment will provide a substantial economic boost to the Peel region and surrounding area.

It will attract new business and entrepreneurs and create a strong network of agricultural science in the Peel region.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack

“Once complete, the centre will provide businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs with access to quality laboratory facilities, meeting rooms, workstations and livestock,” Mr McCormack said.

“In addition to the 10 jobs that will be created during the construction phase, this facility will deliver another 30 ongoing roles once the project is up and running, it will attract new business and entrepreneurs and create a strong network of agricultural science in the Peel region.”

The $5 million Centre for Innovation in Agriculture project is jointly funded by the Coalition government and the CY O’Connor ERADE Village Foundation’s $2,500,000 commitment.