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Western Australia signs on to the new FarmBis program.



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DAFF05/004WT - 24 January 2004

Western Australia signs on to the new FarmBis program

Western Australia is the first State to sign on to the new AAA FarmBis program, the Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss, announced today.

The Australian and Western Australian governments have entered into an agreement enabling Western Australian primary producers and rural land managers to access FarmBis training opportunities over the next three-and-a-half years.

"I welcome Western Australia's decision to match the Australian Government's contribution of $5 million towards the new program," Minister Truss said. "This means a total of $10 million will be available to help the State's primary producers and rural land managers improve their business management skills.

"FarmBis, a partnership between the Australian Government, the States and the Northern Territory, has been the foundation of a strong learning culture among Australia's primary producers since 1997.

FarmBis is widely recognised and supported by primary producers across rural and regional Australia. It is part of the Agriculture Advancing Australia program.

"It has had a strong impact on building the competitiveness and capacity of our primary producers to meet the challenges of global change.

"The new program will retain the broad structural elements and principles of the previous FarmBis programs, with revised delivery arrangements to improve national consistency and targeting of priority training areas, industry sectors and equity groups."

Mr Truss said the Western Australian Government had appointed a majority industry-driven State Planning Group to set the strategic direction of AAA FarmBis in Western Australia for the duration of the program.

"I am pleased to endorse the Western Australian Government's nomination of Peter Cooke to chair the State Planning Group in Western Australia," Mr Truss said. "Mr Cooke, who chaired the previous FarmBis program in Western Australia, has an extensive mix of agribusiness skills and will be an effective Chair of this new program.

"AAA FarmBis agreements between the Australian Government and other States and the Northern Territory are close to being finalised, and I expect to be able to make announcements soon about the commencement of the new program in those States.

"I am committed to working with my State and Territory colleagues to ensure we can continue to provide these important training opportunities for our primary producers."

Further information:

AAA FarmBis Coordinator (Western Australia) (08) 0368 3149 www.daff.gov.au/farmbis

Further media inquiries:

Minister Truss' office: Tim Langmead - 02 6277 7520 or 0418 221 433

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