The NSW Government will retain the majority of agricultural research stations which were scheduled for closure, including one at Alstonville, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald announced today.

As part of last year’s Mini Budget, the NSW Government announced the Department of Primary Industries would restructure operations to make them more modern and efficient and that eight facilities would be closed.

Since then, decisions have already been made to secure the Gaden Trout Hatchery at Jindabyne and transfer of the Gosford Primary Industries Institute at Narara to Ourimbah with the University of Newcastle.

Mr Macdonald today announced the following arrangements:

Alstonville – Research will continue. Staff will relocate to Wollongbar. A working group will be established to look at options for forging a closer relationship with Southern Cross University. Ongoing access will continue to macadamia and sub-tropical fruit plantings.

Berry – Facility will be retained. Unused land will be sold at the rear of the site.

Condobolin – Research station site will be retained.

Glen Innes – Research station will be retained. Bill McKiernan has been appointed new centre director for Glen Innes.

Griffith – Research station will be closed. Potential staff relocation sites being considered.

Temora – Research station site will be retained.

Mr Macdonald said: “In terms of Alstonville, research will continue however staff will relocate to Wollongbar and a working group will be established to look at the possible involvement of Southern Cross University in the future.

“The important genetic bank at Alstonville will be protected which means that none of the vital research will be lost.

“The global financial crisis continues to affect every business in this country, so I am pleased we have been able to achieve some savings from this process.”