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Government agency’s Murdoch move heralds exciting new era for WA agriculture and biosecurity

DPIRD research facility launch at Murdoch University

Western Australia is poised to become a significant agricultural research and biosecurity hub following the State Government’s decision to co-locate the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) new research facility at Murdoch.

Premier Mark McGowan and Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced today that $320 million would be allocated to fund the construction of the DPIRD Biosecurity and Research Facility at Murdoch’s South St campus. 

The department’s new facility, including, laboratories, specialised outbuildings, glass houses and field plots, will sit within a 11-hectare site in the University’s eastern precinct off Murdoch Drive. 

More than 350 DPIRD staff will be based at the facility once it is constructed, with project completion scheduled for 2027. 

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Andrew Deeks said Murdoch had a long history of education, teaching and translational research in environmental sustainability, which included providing solutions to improve food production without depleting limited land and water resources. 

He said the co-location of DPIRD at Murdoch would result in enhanced collaboration between all WA universities involved in agricultural research, the sharing of data and new opportunities for students to engage in industry research supervision and internships. 

“This decision is not just about new buildings and relocating government scientific staff,” Professor Deeks said.

“It’s an opportunity to work together as a research community, where we are more likely to succeed in solving some of the huge challenges we face in providing sustainably produced food for a growing global population. This is good news for our farmers, good for our environment, and good for our State.”  

Professor Deeks said scientists at Murdoch’s Food Futures Institute (FFI) would welcome the opportunity to further strengthen ties with DPIRD following many decades of successful research collaborations.

Examples include the Western Crop Genetics Alliance – a strong Murdoch-DPIRD collaborative arrangement with jointly appointed staff developing new crops for the WA farming sector; and the Western Australian Agricultural Research Collaboration (WAARC), which includes all WA universities and DPIRD to drive a step-change in the GDP of the State’s agricultural outputs. 

The FFI is focused on translational research to support the sustainable production of enough safe, nutritious food to feed the world’s growing population, which is estimated to grow by another 1.5 billion to 9.5 billion by 2050.

Learn more about how the Food Futures Institute is securing and sustaining the food bowls of the future.
Posted on:

1 Dec 2022

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