Grains Research Centre Set To Open

Grains Research Centre Set To Open

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman

New Merredin Research Centre To Put WA At Cutting Edge Of Science

Victor P Taffa

  • New state-of-the-art scientific research facility will put WA at cutting edge of grain research
  • New grain varieties to better cope with climate change
  • Key plank in the Government’s $9 Million commitment to the New Genes for New Environments project

The grains industry is set to benefit from the first of two state-of-the art scientific facilities in Western Australia, opened today by Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman.

The integrated field and laboratory complex at Merredin is a part of the Liberal-National Government’s $9 Million commitment to the New Genes for New Environments project.

 

Mr. Redman said the facilities would continue to place WA at the forefront of agricultural research and at the forefront of environmental research with the exploration of genetically modified traits to improve crop varieties to better cope with climate change.

“It is important for the Australian grains industry to have access to the latest innovation, including GM technology, to remain internationally competitive.” Mr. Redman said.

The Minister said a trial by CSIRO was underway at the site to examine the characteristics and genetic potential of several lines of GM wheat and barley, with the new facilities attracting interest from both public and private organisations.

“The New Genes for New Environments facilities have attracted enquiries from organisations throughout Australia looking to develop more productive and reliable varieties for the grower and better grain quality for consumers.” Mr. Redman said.

A similar facility will be completed at Katanning ready for the 2012 growing season. This will provide two contrasting environments with varying rainfall, length of season and soil types from which to evaluate breeding material. Both facilities are designed to conform to the strict national standards of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

Fact File

  • The gross value of production of the Australian grains industry is valued at $9 Billion p.a.
  • Western Australia is the nation’s largest grains exporting state with exports worth around $3 Billion on average