DPIRD transition on track

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Director General, Ralph Addis.
As a combined department, DPIRD has strong regional presence with a focus on jobs, growth and primary industries, to strengthen economic leadership in our regions.

2017 has been year of major changes and opportunities for our staff of more than 1800 working across agriculture, fisheries and regional development, from as far afield as Kununurra to the Abrolhos Islands and Eucla.

In July the former departments of Agriculture and Food, Fisheries; and Regional Development and the Regional Development Commissions were brought together to form the new Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

As a combined department, DPIRD has strong regional presence with a focus on jobs, growth and primary industries, to strengthen economic leadership in our regions.

The first phase of the DPIRD operational transition is about to commence, as the new structure is introduced that makes the most of the resources, skills and expertise of the department and its staff.

The foundations of our new department are built on three divisions – or ‘pillars’ – to provide the right balance between capitalising on opportunities to grow our production and demand, and sustainable resource management and biosecurity:

  • Sustainability and Biosecurity – administering regulatory functions to protect and maintain WA’s enviable reputation as reliable producer of safe, high quality agricultural and aquatic products;
  • Industry and Economic Development – harnessing research, development and innovation to boost the productivity and profitability of the state’s primary industries and regions; and
  • Strategy and Capability – ensuring we have the right strategy, resources and capability to deliver an exemplary public service.

This change of structure reflects our need to cater to our diverse industry and stakeholder groups, which now spans agricultural, aquatic, regional and indigenous interests.

It will enable the department to deliver on a clear strategy and priorities, with continuity of services for stakeholders, including meeting our statutory responsibilities.

As a pivotal step to lead this new-look operation, we have announced a strong interim executive team to work with me on the transition for the next six months.

The DPIRD executive includes:

  • Heather Brayford, Deputy Director General (DG) Sustainability and Biosecurity (former DG Fisheries);
  • Niegel Grazia, Deputy Director General Industry and Economic Development (former DDG Regional Development);
  • Dr Mark Sweetingham, Managing Director Research, Development and Innovation (former acting DG Agriculture and Food); and
  • Melissa Murphy, Managing Director Business Services (former ED Investment Management, Regional Development)

Our priority now is to work with government and our stakeholders to guide the direction of the department with a clear focus on creating enduring prosperity for the State and its people.

We have a role to help grow and diversify the economy and to create jobs.

Collaboration will continue to be a key feature of the department’s operation, as we work with our stakeholders and partners to stimulate innovation and create new technological and business opportunities.

I am looking forward to engaging with stakeholders throughout the sector in coming months as we build an efficient and highly effective modern department that will keep pace with changing needs of WA industries, communities and government.

I wish you a safe and happy festive season and a prosperous year in 2018.