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Government provides $35.5 million for sheep research.



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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF07/001PM - 9 January 2007

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Government provides $35.5 million for sheep research

The Government has provided a further $35.5 million over seven years to fund vital research to help Australian sheep producers remain internationally competitive and meet changing consumer demands.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the funding would allow the CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation to bring together industry, research and government organisations to address the key challenges facing sheep

producers.

“Our sheep industry continues to be a major contributor to Australia’s rural economy, but strong competition from other natural and synthetic fibres has reduced farmers’ profits,” Mr McGauran said.

“However, new technologies, changing markets and more discerning consumer expectations have created substantial opportunities for economic growth in the industry. The Sheep CRC aims to tap into these opportunities by improving wool and meat quality, and producers’ efficiency levels.

“The CRC, which was established in 2001, will continue its work to improve the genetic makeup of sheep - in turn improving the quality of wool in fine and light wool apparel, and the taste and nutritional value of meat.”

Mr McGauran said key participants in the Sheep CRC included Australian Wool Innovation, CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australia, universities and State Government departments. It will be based at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW.

He said four agricultural CRCs - the Sheep CRC ($35.5m), the Australian Seafood CRC ($35.5m), the CRC for National Plant Biosecurity ($13m), and the Future Farm Industries CRC ($34.1m) - received almost $120 million in the 2006 round of CRC funding, or 38 per cent of all money allocated so far.

“The amount of funding made available to individual CRCs has increased dramatically with three of the agricultural CRCs each receiving about $35 million - a clear demonstration of the importance the Government places on such research,” Mr McGauran said.

“There are currently 15 agricultural CRCs which have been allocated a total of $340 million. Agriculture has benefited enormously from the CRC programme and the 2006 funding round will allow this important research to continue to the benefit of farmers across the country.”

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520

http://www.maff.gov.au/releases/07/07001pm.html

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