In it for the long haul – DPI to remain in Orange
In 1992, the NSW Nationals in government announced the relocation of the Department of Primary Industries (then Department of Agriculture) to Orange.
24 years later, Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair and candidate for the upcoming Orange by-election Scott Barrett confirmed the department’s headquarters including its 730 employees will continue to call the Central West home.
Under the newly released accommodation strategy, Niall was able to guarantee the department’s future in Orange until 2040. The decision provides certainty to the region, agricultural sector and the division’s employees including those from the broader Department of Industry.
“The Nationals remain as committed to a decentralised Department of Primary Industries in Orange today as we did in 1992,” said Niall.
“Today’s commitment is a clear statement of support from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to the people of Orange, and will provide long-term certainty to staff, the community and our primary industries sector.”
The department’s original move to Orange was the brainchild of the former Nationals Deputy Premier and Minister for Agriculture Ian Armstrong. At the time it was the single largest decentralisation project of any NSW Government department.
Since then, Orange has become the agricultural centre of the Central West with The Land and Paraway Pastrol Co. duplicating the government’s model to base their headquarters in the regional city.
Orange by-election candidate Scott Barrett joined Niall for the announcement last week:
“Having the Department of Primary Industries headquartered in Orange just makes sense – it was a great decentralisation decision led by The Nationals back in 1992 and today’s announcement sees Orange’s reputation as a key agricultural hub grow,” Scott said.
More broadly, the decision to keep the Department in Orange will help keep surrounding small towns strong and the economies of the Central West prosperous.