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Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee - Budget Estimates 2009-10 (Supplementary) - Hansard Record of Proceedings.
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Mr Clyde—I guess the government's primary response to the challenge of long-run agricultural sustainability and food security, as I think it is being more commonly called these days, is really to continue to invest in rural research and development, to try and encourage adoption» of better practices on farm and to improve productivity in the face of all the different changes and constraints that are occurring.

terminated or curtailed it. In many instances we were fortunate in some respects that this was the fifth year of a strategic plan. Where we did curtail a few projects, there was a lot of stuff that was not done around the communication of outcomes. Instead of focusing on what we call «adoption» or communication activities, by cutting that out we were able to get more completion or a fuller completion on the technical content and get a publication-ready report as opposed to doing those «adoption» activities. It would be a project by project basis on which we would have to describe potentially what was lost.

Dr Robinson—Yes, it was. I would also say that there were some programs that we ran which were 80 per cent «adoption» type activities or extension type activities which had very little research in real terms. From a researcher's perspective, they were really «adoption» programs and that was part of our culture. For example, the Knowledge for Regional Natural Resource Management program was basically a knowledge management

Dr Robinson—No. The weeds research and knowledge exchange was essentially an extension to our Defeating the Weed Menace R&D Program. It was a small amount of funding that we secured this year to basically undertake «adoption» activities through a series of workshops around the country. Those workshops have now been completed very successfully. I am expecting a draft report at the end of the week and that will

Mr Reading—I would like to just put forward an «apology» . The chairman was on a board visit to Western Australia last week, down in Esperance, and climate conditions were very unfavourable and he is suffering a very severe case of bronchitis, but he sends his apologies.

Mr Mrdak—It was a decision of mine in the end. I do a budget allocation across the department each year based on the business planning process for the department. As you are aware. I urrtccd in the department at the start of this financial year. I had to make some adjustments to divisional budgets to meet priorities across the department. One of the areas which had its forward estimates reduced and budget Ior 21t(19-10 reduced was the bureau. As Ms Foster has indicated, as part of that we have also looked to how we can better align the bureau's research program, given the reduced rcsourcing, with the policy direction ol the department. The budget reduction has «forced us to look more closely at where we can better target the research and limit our research activities in some areas.