The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has announced that some of its ageing facilities are to be replaced as part of a major upgrade.
According to the Department, work is to begin in the New Year on the installation of new and upgraded Government laboratories in South Perth to deliver biosecurity and research services to the State’s primary industries.
It said immediate upgrades would provide a temporary laboratory facility of about 750 square metres to ensure a continuation of critical scientific services while plans were finalised for long-term metropolitan facilities.
The next steps include the installation of an approved diagnostic laboratory to exclude or identify suspect exotic plant or animal pests or diseases, it said.
The Department said some existing laboratory areas at South Perth would also be upgraded to ensure safe and functional workspaces for staff involved in biosecurity activities, as well as agricultural research projects that involved microbiology, pathology, mycology and biochemistry.
Minister for Agriculture and Food, Alannah MacTiernan said that with more than 80 per cent of the State’s primary production destined for export markets, there was a need to protect its biosecurity status.
Ms MacTiernan said steps were being laid for a functional, modern, science-based Department to protect and grow WA’s primary industries.
“These immediate next steps of new temporary laboratories and modern offices ensure the Department can continue to protect our State from biosecurity threats and drive research to take our primary industries forward, while the longer term redevelopment is realised,” Ms MacTiernan said.
She said about 200 of the Department’s scientific staff and specialised technical officers would remain at South Perth while a further 500 office-based staff are to move to modern city-based offices in the first half of 2021.