Barnett appoints new Agriculture Minister

22 Sep, 2016 02:03 PM
New Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis (left) with Premier Colin Barnett.
New Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis (left) with Premier Colin Barnett.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has announced agricultural scientist and Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Mark Lewis as the new Agriculture and Food Minister.

Former Agriculture Minister Dean Nalder resigned from Cabinet last week, in protest to Mr Barnett's leadership.

A failed spill for the leadership left the position vacant.

Mr Lewis, who was raised on a cattle property in Queensland, will be the third minister of the portfolio this term.

He studied animal production and health at Queensland University and worked for the Veterinary Services Branch within the Department of Primary Industries, mainly in the channel country and north Queensland.

Mr Lewis worked within the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, including the role of Program and Regional manager, director, and manager of Policy and Industry Development in the Rangelands.

He has also been involved on a number of government committees and boards including the Pastoral Lands Board, Rural Adjustment and Finance Corporation, a range of ministerial taskforces and appointments, and a number of State and region-wide natural resource management committees.

Mr Barnett said the sector was among a number of industries critical to the broadening of the Western Australian economy.

He said appointing a dedicated Minister to the portfolio would ensure the sector was given Mr Lewis' full attention in progressing key policies, including upgrading the Doppler tower network and launching the WA Biosecurity Strategy.

"Before entering State Parliament in 2013, Mark was involved in developing irrigated agricultural opportunities and also held management positions within the Department of Agriculture and Food in a region which covered the extent of his current electorate," Mr Barnett said.

"Mark was raised on farming, cattle and sheep properties in Queensland and will bring to the portfolio a vast knowledge about the agricultural sector and the challenges it faces."

See next weeks Farm Weekly for more.

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22/09/2016 2:47:09 PM, on Farm Weekly

Should have been appointed instead of Nalder in the first place
22/09/2016 5:29:56 PM, on Farm Weekly

So it would appear that we'd have an ex AG bureaucrat ?( no disrespect ) leading AG in WA Let's hope we have a quick and industry acceptable solution to the DAFWA / Grains saga, research station future etc Unfortunately given recent events he probably will only have a job until March ( election) so let's hope he deals with outstanding issues swiftly!!
20/10/2016 5:26:38 PM, on Farm Weekly

Where is the review of the department that was promised over 18 months ago? It must not be very politically acceptable given we have a new "acting" DG and two new ministers while we wait for its release. What a shambles.


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