Liberals back Mt Barker agribusiness park vision with $2.5m State election pledge

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet councillor and Warren-Blackwood Liberal candidate Marie O'Dea.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet councillor and Warren-Blackwood Liberal candidate Marie O'Dea. Credit: Supplied

The Shire of Plantagenet’s ambitious vision to establish a Mt Barker agribusiness precinct has secured the WA Liberals’ support, with the party pledging $2.5 million towards development of the 193ha site off Yerriminup Road if elected.

The Liberals’ Yerriminup Industrial Park pledge falls under the party’s State election pitch to create 200,000 new jobs in WA within the next five years.

The vision for a value-adding agricultural business hub in the region stretches back 25 years to when the land was rezoned for industrial use.

Early last year, the State Government finally backed the plan with $300,000 in funding for preliminary planning including feasibility investigations and completing an approved subdivision plan and costed detailed design.

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Warren-Blackwood Liberal candidate Marie O’Dea, who is also a Shire of Plantagenet councillor, said her party’s cash pledge aimed to cover set-up costs for the construction of roads, power supply and water within the precinct to stimulate investment.

“As a Shire, we know that there is interest in the industrial park for some developments for food processing or products to be used by farmers,” she said.

“The first big hurdle is that there are no services currently available and no one is clear on how much it might cost to get power, water, sewer or road upgrade to access the site from Albany Highway.”

Ms O’Dea said she hoped the pledge would prompt other parties to “put an offer on the table” to progress the long-held vision.

“The opportunity would be more employment in Mt Barker and Albany, and expand our footprint for food processing,” she said.

“The chicken abattoir at Kendenup is at full capacity and we have more chicken farms getting built and the closer the chooks are to a processing site, the better.”

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