Department of Agriculture and Food (Western Australia)

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), (formed by an amalgamation of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Department of Fisheries and Department of Regional Development in 2017), is a Western Australian government department responsible for regulating and advancing agricultural and food industries, fisheries and regional development within the state.

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia logo.png
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Western Australia
Headquarters3 Baron-Hay Court, Kensington, Western Australia
Employees1,687 (2006), 900 (2016)
Agency executive
  • Mr Rob Delane (until 14/3/2016), Mark Webb (14/3/2016->), Director General

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, the Minister for Regional Development and the Minister for Fisheries are 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.[1]

This department was 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 (Trichoglossus moluccanus),[2] skeleton weed (Chondrilla juncea),[3] and Portuguese millipede (Ommatoiulus moreletii).[4]


In 1894, Premier John Forrest, established the Bureau of Agriculture under the chairmanship of Charles Harper.[5] 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. Sir 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.


  • Western Australian Bureau of Agriculture 1894 - 1898
  • Department of Agriculture 1898 - 2006
  • Department of Agriculture and Food (Western Australia) 2006 - 2017
  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development 2017[6]

Research stationsEdit

The department operates the following research stations throughout Western Australia:

Newdegate Research Station Entrance
  • 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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2004[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Pestnote August 2007 Archived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine - Rainbow lorikeet management options
  3. ^ Skeleton weed control in Western Australia Archived 19 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine - accessed 23 Oct 2007
  4. ^ Gardennote October 2006 Archived 22 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine - Portuguese millipedes
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^

Further readingEdit

  • 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

External linksEdit