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WA Labor dry on water policy

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Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has called on WA Labor to do more to support water certainty for vegetable and horticultural growers in the North Wanneroo area.

This follows the State Labor Government’s decision to enforce a 10 per cent reduction in groundwater allocations for properties in Carabooda, Nowergup and Neerabup.

“This decision will severely impact the viability of local farmers, and must be reconsidered,” Mr Porter said.

“North Wanneroo has long been a farming area, providing fresh fruit and vegetables to Perth, interstate and overseas.

“The local industry has developed into a real asset for our community and significantly contributes to our local economy, with the City of Wanneroo’s total agricultural sector employing about 1040 people.

“This contribution is something which should be supported and promoted, not undermined as WA Labor is doing.”

Wanneroo’s agriculture industry makes a significant contribution to the local economy and the State’s agricultural exports. In 2015-16, the City of Wanneroo contributed $119m in gross value of agricultural production, approximately 30% of the total produced in the Perth region, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

North Wanneroo was estimated to have a gross value of agricultural production of $47.7m.

“The WA State Government should be focused on helping this industry grow, but this latest announcement flies in the face of our local farmers,” Mr Porter said.

“Forcing a 10 per cent reduction in water allocations will inevitably impact the viability of the industry and there are concerns that it will force the closure of many farms. This is simply unacceptable.”