The State Government has released the report prepared by the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce.
The Taskforce – comprising key stakeholders from government and industry – was established in late 2017 to drive horticultural development and job growth in Wanneroo.
The full report is available online here.
The report contained important recommendations, including that ground water allocation reductions be capped at 10 per cent, down from the original 25 per-cent proposed.
However, in her response, the Minister for Agriculture and Food ruled out compensation for growers affected by a drying climate.
vegetablesWA CEO John Shannon – who was a member of the taskforce – acknowledged the decrease to the proposed groundwater allocations from 25 per cent to 10 per cent but said they did not go far enough and any cuts to water allocations in the region are not supported by industry.
“The Taskforce and the Government have listened but even a 10 per-cent reduction to water allocations will have crippling impact on growers in the region,” he said.
“Any cut at all will be unacceptable to vegetable growers, because their livelihood depends on their full allocation.
“It is also incredibly disappointing news that the Minister has ruled out compensation for affected growers.
“We know that in 2016-17 vegetable growers achieved an average return on capital of four per-cent that financial year. The bottom 25 per-cent of growers generated a return on capital of minus six
“The Government owes it to those growers to look at way to financially support them if these changes come into effect.
“I welcome news that the Minister did make a commitment to make a case to the Commonwealth Government for funding through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to prepare a business case for the development of a new agricultural precinct.”