New centre targets salinity solutions

Efforts to develop productive solutions to salinity received a boost with the Federal Government's recent decision to fund a Western Australian-based Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity.

GRDC Western Regional Panel Chairman and Hyden farmer, Dale Baker, welcomed the Government's decision to fund the CRC. Mr Baker said it was fitting that the CRC is based in WA, which he described as the epicentre of Australia's dryland salinity and a State that is well resourced to develop plant-based solutions to salinity for the benefit of all of southern Australia.

Directing the new centre is University of WA Professor Phil Cocks, who is also a GRDC Western Region Panel member.

Professor Cocks and Mr Baker expect one benefit of the new CRC will be its ability to attract funding specifically devoted to salinity research. On behalf of Australian graingrowers, the GRDC will contribute up to $750,000 per annum to the CRC over the next seven years for specific research projects.

Mr Baker, who previously was a Board member of the CRC for Australian Weed Management (see story below), welcomed the CRC for salinity as a further benefit to farmers on top of ongoing funding commitments for the Weed and Wheat

Contact: Professor Phil Cocks 08 9380 2555