Investment to support North Wanneroo growers

Posted on February 22, 2021
  • Re-elected McGowan Labor Government to invest $750,000 to support horticultural industry in North Wanneroo
  • Grant funding to help growers become more water-efficient to manage the impacts of climate change
  • Builds on work of the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce, chaired by Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will continue to back horticulture in North Wanneroo, allocating $750,000 to guarantee the long-term viability of local growers.

The North Wanneroo horticulture industry provides a valuable source of fresh vegetables and fruit for the Perth market, with more than 100 horticultural growers in the area.

Climate change has seen rainfall levels in Perth significantly decline over the last 30 years, and water availability is becoming an increasingly important issue for Wanneroo growers. 

The McGowan Labor Government established the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce in 2017, led by Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, to report on water and land use issues in the area.

Following the report, the 25 per cent groundwater allocation reduction proposed by the previous Liberal-National Government was revised down to 10 per cent from 2028, providing certainty for local growers.

To assist growers in managing the drying climate, the McGowan Labor Government will establish a $600,000 water efficiency infrastructure and technology grants program if re-elected.

Growers will be able to apply for grants of up to $30,000 to install technology to improve water systems and increase water use efficiency.

The program will support improving the design of current water systems, implementing soil and crop sensor technology and soil amendments such as using clay or compost to increase soil moisture holding capacity. 

Installing protected cropping facilities such as glass houses would also be eligible under the program. 

Local growers could also access up to $5000 to engage qualified professionals to assess the opportunities for irrigation systems and soil amendments on their properties.

WA Labor has also committed $150,000 to support the City of Wanneroo’s local planning processes to maintain and protect agriculture in North Wanneroo consistent with the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce recommendations

Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“North Wanneroo plays a vital role in our state’s food supply, but climate change is putting serious pressure on local growers.

“This funding will build on the work led by Sabine and the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce, helping growers to adapt with the latest technology and equipment.

“Sabine has been a tireless advocate for growers in Wanneroo, and the McGowan Labor Government is backing the future of horticulture in Perth’s northern suburbs.”

Comments attributed to Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton:

“Our growers are an important part of our local community, and as our climate continues to dry, they need our support.

“Through the North Wanneroo Agriculture and Water Taskforce, we undertook detailed work to determine how we could best assist local growers and ensure the viability of the industry moving forward.”

“Wanneroo is a significant food bowl for Perth, producing nearly 40 per cent of the State’s fruit and vegetables. 

“It is important to continue to support and back our growers here in Wanneroo and I am proud to have secured this funding.”