Department of Agriculture and Food (Western Australia)
|Jurisdiction||Government of Western Australia|
|Headquarters||3 Baron-Hay Court, Kensington, Western Australia|
|Employees||1,687 (2006), 900 (2016)|
The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) is a Western Australian government department responsible for regulating and advancing agricultural and food industries within the state. The Minister for Agriculture and Food, currently Ken Baston of the Liberal Party, is responsible for the department.
In 2004 the department had operating costs of $215,000,000 approx with $120,000,000 provided directly by the state government. The balance was from federal government grants, public operating activities and user charges and fees.
This department is also responsible for quarantine control on all plants, soil and animal products brought into the state. The Agricultural Protection Board [needs updating] is also part of this and responsible for the eradication of pests in Western Australia including the rainbow lorikeet, skeleton weed, and Portuguese millipedes (Ommatoiulus moreletii).
In 1894, Premier John Forrest, established the Bureau of Agriculture under the chairmanship of Charles Harper. The members were A.R. Richardson, W. Paterson (the first manager of the Agricultural Bank), J.H.D. Amherst, F.H. Piesse and G.L. Throssell. Initially, the bureau was not placed under the supervision of a minister. This changed in April 1898 when the bureau became the Agricultural Advisory Board and a new Department of Agriculture was gazetted under the control of Throssell as Commissioner for Crown Lands.
Professor William Lowrie was appointed director in 1908. He resigned in 1911. James Mitchell was at this time Minister for Agriculture and he expanded the senior position to three commissioners: George Lowe Sutton, as Commissioner for the Wheat Belt, James M.B. Connor as Commissioner for the South-West; and James P. Moody as Commissioner for the Fruit Industries.
The department operates the following research stations throughout Western Australia:
- Avondale Agricultural Research Station
- Badgingarra Research Station
- Esperance Downs Research Station
- Gascoyne Research Station - Carnarvon
- Katanning Research Station
- Kununurra: Frank Wise Research Institute
- Manjimup Research Station
- Medina Research Station
- Merredin Research Station
- Mount Barker Research Station
- Newdegate Research Station
- Vasse Research Station
- Wongan Hills Research Station
- Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2004
- Pestnote August 2007 - Rainbow lorikeet management options
- Skeleton weed control in Western Australia - accessed 23 Oct 2007
- Gardennote October 2006 - Portuguese millipedes
- Gabbedy, J.P. (1988). Group Settlement - Part 1, Its Origins (volume 1). University of Western Australia Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN 0-85564-284-X.
- Articles about the first months of the Western Australian Bureau of Agriculture (predecessor of Department of Agriculture): bureau set up, list of members and tasks it should accomplish (January 1894); editorial on new bureau and its proposed functions (2 March 1894); report of meeting (21 March 1894); report of bureau's first 6 months (September 1894). West Australian, 27 January 1894, p. 4; 2 March 1894, p. 4; 21 March 1894, p. 2; 19 September 1894, p. 5,
- Watt, Peter. Centenary, 1894-1994: Profiles of Progress: Department of Agriculture Perth, W.A.: The Dept., 1994