WA Ag Department banks on corporate alliance for farming

Devastating drought in Western Australia led to a closer relationship between public servants and the financial sector. The Department of Agriculture wants to make it official.

Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food is forging an alliance with banks and other lenders to help the state’s farmers get through the hard times and stay internationally competitive.

The alliance should be in effect within about three months, according to DAFWA director-general Rob Delane, and will formalise a productive working relationship that has been developing since 2010, when an apocalyptic drought hit the state and threatened to send hundreds of businesses to the wall. He says the crisis turned “sporadic and usually individual meetings” between the department and major financiers into quarterly meetings will all the majors.

“It’s natural for us to engage with [the lenders]; they’re not the enemy,” he told The Mandarin. “They’ve got a very important role to play and, sometimes, a very difficult role to play.”

Rob Delane

Rob Delane

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