Cooke Calls for Agricultural R&D Funding to be a Priority

Recognising the vital role agricultural research & development plays in the productivity of our primary industries, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has called on the NSW Labor Government to ensure funding for this vital sector is maintained in the upcoming NSW State Budget.

During an address in the NSW State Parliament, Ms Cooke highlighted the nation-wide significance of the work being undertaken at the two Department of Primary Industries (DPI) research facilities in the Cootamundra electorate: the Narrandera Fisheries Centre, and the Cowra Agricultural Research & Advisory Station.

In the speech, Ms Cooke raised concerns regarding the impact the NSW Labor Government’s recent restructure of the DPI and Department of Regional NSW will have on R&D funding.

“The wonderful staff at the Narrandera Fisheries Centre do so much in terms of research into native and introduced species, native fish breeding, and conservation,” Ms Cooke said.

“Given the important work they’re doing in preserving and maintaining the health of our river systems, now is not the time to take the foot off the accelerator, and I implore the State Labor Government to continue investing in the centre’s future.

“Similarly, the Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station is world-leading when it comes to investigating new and resilient farming systems in red meat development, and pasture management; it’s by investing in these kinds of research programs, that we give our farmers a platform to become even more productive.

“I met recently with representatives from NSW Farmers to discuss a range of issues impacting their members, including water security, and the importance of ongoing government investment in agriculture.

“It’s with these considerations in mind that I urge the NSW Labor Government to back the farmers in my electorate, and invest significantly in DPI research & development in the June State Budget,” she said.

For a transcript of the speech click here. For video of the speech click here.

Photo: Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke with NSW Farmers CEO Annabel Johnson, and Policy Director Kathy Rankin.

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