At the Governor’s pleasure
WA Governor Kim Beazley has wrapped up a tour of Moora, visiting several agribusinesses to learn about horticulture, livestock and tourism developments.
“I have had the best day in Moora — wonderfully looked after by Shire of Moora president Tracy Lefroy and her team,” he said.
“It is such an impressive town.
“It respects the arts and culture, is totally innovative in agriculture and has a great local history museum among the many other superb attributes.”
Mr Beazley said West Australians should visit the Wheatbelt town to appreciate its economic importance.
“The road to Moora is a very good one,” he said.
Shire of Moora president Tracy Lefroy, who is also a local farmer, said the Governor’s tour formed part of his regional visit program.
“I love that we are lucky enough to have a Governor who wants to understand what makes the regions tick,” she said.
“In Moora, it is our willingness to engage with sport, recreation, the arts and tourism which make our town thrive and makes us tick.
“This in turn attracts business to the region as we are such a great place to live and work.”
Mrs Lefroy said the visit provided an incredible opportunity to take stock, from industry to the arts, sports and recreation, tourism and education.
“We wanted to communicate to the Governor that Moora is a town where things are really happening at every level,” she said.
“We have new industry coming to town with Harvest Road Group’s Koojan Downs cattle finishing facility and the upgrade to CBH receival site means our backbone of agriculture is continuing to flourish.”
Mr Beazley visited Koojan Downs to see the beef agriculture investment business which forms part of Harvest Road Group’s portfolio of food brands, exporting to more than 40 countries.
Harvest Road Group will build a $70 million cattle finishing enterprise at Koojan Downs. It will supply 60,000, 100-day grain finished cattle to Harvey Beef’s processing facility.
The property, which totals more than 7000ha from four lots, straddles the shires of Dandaragan, Moora and Victoria Plains.
Koojan Downs will be designed to supply 60,000, 100-day grain finished cattle each year to be processed at Harvey Beef.
Harvest Road general manager of Agriculture Kim McDougall said the Governor’s visit was an opportunity to demonstrate how the company’s long-term investment in the $70m Koojan Downs feedlot facility was part of its commitment to creating a sustainable and world-class beef supply chain in Western Australia.
“It’s an honour to welcome the Governor to Koojan Downs and showcase how Harvest Road’s feedlot facility will unlock value for beef producers and support employment opportunities across regional communities by creating an interlocking production chain from the north to south west of the State based on best-practice ecological planning and animal welfare management,” he said.
“The Governor is a passionate advocate for our State and it’s a great chance to demonstrate how our business is collaborating with the surrounding community and with cattle and grain suppliers to create industry best practices in animal welfare, environmental sustainability and operational efficiency.”
Mrs Lefroy said each sector of the Moora community and economy was working together to ensure that Moora remained vibrant.
Mr Beazley said the town’s facilities and people had “energy far beyond” what he had envisioned.
Mrs Lefroy and Mr Beazley discussed the barriers to innovation and education in the region, including telecommunications.
“Every industry, every educator, every healthcare service provider relies upon internet and telephone services,” Mrs Lefroy said.
“Current internet service provision is well and truly sub-optimal and we would love to see significant investment from government and private sectors in improving our telecommunications infrastructure here in the regions.”
“This investment would repay itself with improvements in productivity, the opportunity to decentralise industry and viable provision of remote education and health services.
She noted that Moora brands itself as being a region of opportunity.
“As a service centre, and with a massive geographic catchment zone, Moora is home some exceptional facilities and services,” Mrs Lefroy said.
“A big part of this is being open to new business opportunities in our region. Moora is thrilled that the Harvest Road Group is heavily committed to its ‘good neighbour’ policy whereby the staff of the enterprises integrate into the town and community in which they work.”
Mrs Lefroy said the Koojan Downs venture offered benefits to the community ranging from employment, training, and a domestic feed grain market as well as flow-on effects to the town’s retail, education, sport and arts facilities.
“The sense of pride and ownership in this project is tangible within the town and we cannot wait to be involved,” she said.
“In turn, we want to welcome Koojan Downs to our region and we're working with the Wheatbelt Development Commission to ensure that our road infrastructure is appropriate to handle the large volume of traffic, with 1200 head of cattle per week in and out of our region.”
Mr Beazley also visited the Moora Shire office, the historical society, Candy’s Bush Reserve, and Moora Speedway where the Yued Mural showcases Indigenous night sky stories and the heritage of the local people.
Moora is nestled amongst a diverse range of economic opportunities and strategically located between two of the State’s most popular tourism attractions — New Norcia and the Pinnacles.
Moora is the largest regional town between Perth and Geraldton and provides a wealth of services.
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