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South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SW WA Hub) is harnessing the power of collaboration to enhance drought resilient practices and accelerate innovation and adoption.

Funded by the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund, the SW WA Hub has begun implementing activities such as the collaborative $4 million WaterSmart Dams initiative, funded by the FDF and the State Government.

Led by the GGA, the Hub is utilising and leveraging the power of the GGA grower group network ‘hub and spoke’ model to facilitate greater innovation from ‘the ground up’.

Grower groups are among the Hub’s more than 50 consortium Partners, which represent all sectors of the WA agricultural supply chain and are providing cash and in-kind co-contributions.

This focus on collaboration will enable the SW WA Hub to make agricultural research impactful and accessible, increasing innovation and commercialisation opportunities.

The Australian Government has expanded the remit of the SW WA Hub beyond drought resilience to agricultural innovation. However, drought resilience remains a core priority.

Vision: Thriving producers and communities adapting to our variable environment

Mission: Be a connected and trusted partner building pathways to accelerate innovation and adoption


Hub video

Priority Project Topics and Situational Analyses

The SW WA Hub has produced the following situational analyses for its four agro-ecological zones: Southern Rangelands, Mid West & Gascoyne Coastal, Wheatbelt and South West.

The purpose is to provide baseline knowledge of drought-related agricultural initiatives that have occurred in recent years and to identify ‘gaps’ where new opportunities could enhance outcomes in a hotter, drier climate.

The analyses have identified topics for drought resilience projects (addressing RD&E gaps). These topics were workshopped with the Hub’s Regional Advisory Committees (RACs), which each prioritised topics. These topics are being groundtruthed with farmers, including through Regional Node Leads.

The priority project topics for the four agro-ecological zones are available here.

The situational analyses and priority project topic lists are draft, ‘living’ documents.

Wheatbelt Regional Advisory Committee members with Hub and GGA staff during the committee’s ‘kick off’ meeting held at Merredin and online in June 2022.

Hub Geographical Area

The geographical area of the SW WA Hub extends far beyond what many Western Australians know as our South West region. Within this national project, the Hubs are organised into regional areas that broadly reflect the key agricultural and climatic zones across the country. The SW WA hub is essentially everything south of the Pilbara, and includes what those in the agricultural industry know as the entire southern agricultural growing region of WA.

Regional Node Leads

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has appointed Regional Node Leads, which will provide guidance on priority issues impacting the drought and climate resilience of farming systems, their industries and communities. Through nominated managers, the Regional Node Leads will help link the Hub to end users by gathering and sharing knowledge, coordinating local activities and support Hub activities. Node Lead positions are aligned with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development office locations

Regional Node Leads include:

  • Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group (MADFIG) – Merredin
  • South East Premium Wheat Growers Association – Esperance
  • Facey Group – Narrogin
  • Stirlings to Coast Farmers – Albany
  • Southern Forests Food Council – Manjimup
  • South West Catchments Council – Bunbury
  • Northern Agricultural Catchments Council – Geraldton
  • Rangelands NRM Co-ordinating Group – Carnarvon

Regional Advisory Committees

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has appointed Regional Advisory Committees (RACs), which comprise skills-based representatives of agricultural industries for each of four agro-ecological zones in the area covered by the Hub. Through their knowledge and expertise, they will provide guidance to the Hub on priority issues impacting the drought and climate resilience of farming systems, their industries and communities.

Southern Rangelands

  • Laurene Bonza (Chair)
  • Kari-Lee Falconer
  • Rob Sudmeyer
  • Amanda Day
  • Ashley Bell
  • Alan Peggs
  • Phil Vercoe
  • Esther Jones
  • Richard Marver
  • Greg Brennan
  • Margi Weir

South West

  • Julia Easton (Chair)
  • Kelly Hill
  • Neil Lantzke
  • James Bowie
  • Dean Thomas
  • John Ruprecht
  • Megan Ryan
  • Bruce Mullan
  • Esther Jones
  • Zora Singh
  • Catherine O’Keefe
  • Larry Jorgensen
  • Bronwyn Walsh

Mid West & Gascoyne Coastal

  • Paul Shain (Chair)
  • Annie van Blommestein
  • Christine Zaicou-Kunesch
  • Candy Hudson
  • Bronwyn Walsh
  • Zora Singh
  • Michael Considine
  • Dan Kuzmicich
  • David Timmel
  • Amir Abadi
  • Neil Lantzke
  • Doriana Mangili
  • Manus Stockdale

Wheatbelt

  • Rod Birch (Chair)
  • Vanessa Stewart
  • Andrew Fletcher
  • Jo Wheeler
  • Karl O’Callaghan
  • Rob Grima
  • Nik Callow
  • Heidi Mippy
  • Bronwyn Clarke

Hub Operations Team

Contact us at swwadroughthub@gga.org.au

Hub Steering Committee

GGA has a steering committee to oversee the SW WA Hub project governance. This comprises two GGA representatives and two industry representatives chosen for their experience and broad understanding of the WA agricultural context.

National Hubs at a Glance

The eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs are:

  1. Southern NSW Hub, Wagga Wagga (hub lead, Charles Sturt University)
  2. Tropical North Queensland Hub, Cairns (James Cook University)
  3. Southern Queensland/Northern NSW Hub, Toowoomba (University of Southern Queensland)
  4. Victoria Hub, Dookie (University of Melbourne)
  5. Tasmania Hub, Hobart (University of Tasmania)
  6. South Australia Hub, Roseworthy (University of Adelaide)
  7. South West WA Hub, Merredin Dryland Research Institute (Grower Group Alliance)
  8. Top End NT/WA Hub, Darwin (Charles Darwin University)

Each Hub will service a broad area and will respond to the needs and opportunities in their region. A hub and spoke model will see drought resilience shopfronts across every region.

Events

If you missed out on the 2022 Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum in June, you can now view recordings of the two day event via Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry here.

The annual forum brought together farmers, researchers, government, industry and community members to explore innovative tools and practices helping our regions prepare for drought.

SW WA Climate Context

Extract from BOM State of the Climate Report 2020: The drying trend in southern Australia has been most evident in the southwest and southeast of the country.

Rainfall analyses in these regions can be extended back to around 1890 due to greater data coverage, enabling current droughts to be compared to historical droughts such as the Federation drought (1895 to 1902). The recent drying across these regions is the most sustained large-scale change in observed rainfall since the late 1880s.

The trend is particularly strong for the period from May to July over southwest Western Australia, with rainfall since 1970 around 20 per cent less than the average from 1900 to 1969.  Since 2000, this decline has increased to around 28 per cent.

Source: BOM State of the Climate Report 2020

Media Releases

23 September 2002 – New project will arm horticulturalists against a drying climate
5 September 2022 – Extension leader to join Grower Group Alliance as Adoption Manager
5 August 2022 – Expanded team places GGA and Hub at forefront of extension and adoption
30 May 2022 – Regional Soil Coordinator aims to protect and improve soils
20 May 2022 – Register now for Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum
11 April 2022 – GGA Media Release – Drought resilience ‘knowledge network’ kicks off
5 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Future Drought Fund continues delivering drought resilience for regional Australia
1 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – $23 million for landscape practices that build drought resilience
1 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Digital the future of farming
21 March 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – FDF: $9 million for drought resilience experts
7 March 2022 – Making dams work again? That’s damn smart
31 January 2022 – Regional hubs to deliver soil science excellence
31 January 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Innovation expansion for drought hubs
12 January 2022 – Applications sought for new drought resilience roles
11 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – Agricultural Innovation Statement released
7 October 2021 – GGA Media Release – GGA welcomes significant expansion of South-West WA Drought Hub
6 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – South-West WA Drought Hub to broaden its focus
6 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – Drought Hubs to broaden their focus
19 August 2021 – GGA Media Release – GGA appoints Director to Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub
19 April – Australian Government Media Release 2 – More Information on Program
16 April – GGA Media Release 1 – GGA to lead SW WA Hub
16 April Australian Government Media Release 1 – GGA wins SW WA Hub

South-West WA Hub Newsletters

9 September 2022
5 August 2022
17 June 2022
19 May 2022 (FDF Science to Practice forum)
6 May 2022
18 March 2022
18 February 2022
14 January 2022
19 November 2021
15 October 2021
17 September 2021
20 August 2021

To receive project updates and details of upcoming Hub events, sign up to the Hub newsletter in the below form.

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FAQ

FAQ about the Future Drought Fund and the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs may be answered at these sites or in the media releases further below on this page:
* Australian Government – Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program
* Subscribe to “Have Your Say” the main Federal engagement point for Hub activity
* Read the Future Drought Fund Annual Report 2020-21, that details the achievements of the Fund in its foundational year.

Skills

Posted on

24 May 2022