THE Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) is looking for a new director general after it was announced today that Rob Delane would be leaving the role.
Mr Delane has been in the job for almost seven years but will now move to a new role with the Department of State Development. The new role is expected to start on March 14, 2016.
The move will surprise many in the WA agriculture industry, as Mr Delane only received a five-year contract extension in November, 2014.
WA Premier Colin Barnett, who is also State Development Minister, announced the move this morning saying he had asked Mr Delane to establish and lead a special agriculture unit within the State Development Department to help expand WA agribusiness and better position producers to meet growing interest from overseas.
“This unit will enhance the government’s efforts in export market development and foreign investment attraction, as well as offering support to major agriculture and associated infrastructure projects,” Mr Barnett said.
“WA is already a significant exporter of many agriculture and aquaculture products, however the prospect for expansion of trade and investments looks promising.
“This promise has a better chance of being realised if the government redoubles its efforts both to market - especially Asia and the Middle-East - and at home.
“Mr Delane has carried much of this effort to date as director general of DAFWA.
“I now want to use his expertise and free his time to push harder into overseas markets and support local industry to capitalise on the growth, and I am delighted he has agreed to take on the challenge.”
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority chief executive officer Mark Webb will move into the DAFWA director general position in an acting capacity until a replacement is found.
Read more in next week’s Farm Weekly.