COMMENT: Another first for Peel business park

There's a lot to be excited about in the region and it's terrific to see projects combining our need to create jobs, new industries and strong communities move ahead, attract investment and reach important milestones.

Construction of the WA Food Innovation Precinct (WAFIP) at the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup is about to start.

It will support Peel businesses, expand and build new industry sectors for Peel and help to future proof our economy by steering us towards areas of future growth.

The WA Food Innovation Precinct will be WA's centre of excellence for research, development and commercialisation of new agriculture technology, and innovative value-added food products.

Along with research and development, the complex will also house production and warehousing facilities to enable food and beverage prototype and market testing, and create a networking and knowledge hub for the WA agri-food sector.

This hasn't been done before and will be great for the WA food and beverage sector and help create jobs and industry in the Peel.

Part of the Transform Peel 35-year vision, the WAFIP marries the unique strengths of location and biosecurity of our region with the global increase in food demand and the growing demand for food provenance to create new opportunities in the food and beverage sectors.

Led by the Shire of Murray, the precinct will help our agri-food businesses to scale up, create more diverse and innovative products and expand our access to national and international markets. Collaborations and partnerships across government and industry, including Murdoch University, GrowHub, Spinifex Brewery and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, are vital to achieving this.

The WAFIP will have support from the $3.85 million Enterprise Support Program (ESP) with grants for WA agribusinesses to facilitate industry access and stimulate activation of the WAFIP.

Grants of up to $200,000 will be available on a dollar-for-dollar contribution basis to help industry access innovation opportunities, leading-edge research capabilities, incubation space and technologies through the WAFIP.

This innovative approach supports industry engagement with the WAFIP and the Peel Business Park, which is also the home of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Bushfire Centre of Excellence and Australia's first Renewable Energy Industrial Microgrid.

  • Paddi Creevey OAM is chair of the Peel Development Commission