The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) today celebrated its 130-year history, marking the occasion by officially moving into its new headquarters, some 27 years since the Department originally moved west from the Sydney CBD to Orange.
Minster for Agriculture Adam Marshall said since its creation in 1890, DPI had proudly served the people of NSW, establishing itself as a global leader in agriculture, fisheries, forestry management and biosecurity.
“NSW DPI has been at the forefront of major agricultural innovation and change over the past century, playing an integral role in creating our thriving primary industries that is today regarded as among the best in the world,” Mr Marshall said.
“The new $75 million headquarters in Orange represents a fresh chapter in the Department’s history, and it will be home to critical programs that will create stronger primary industries across NSW.
“As our recovery from drought, fire and the impacts of COVID-19 continues, DPI will continue to play a key role in this process, while simultaneously boosting our $16 billion primary industries sector.
“The dedication of our staff to push the boundaries, constantly driving the development of new technology and knowledge for the state’s farmers has earned NSW DPI a ranking in the top one per cent of global agriculture research.
“Today the Department has about 2,000 staff located in communities across rural and regional NSW, around 400 of which will be at our new headquarters.
“As one of the largest employers in the Central West, DPI has been an economic cornerstone of the regional economy since the headquarters moved to Kite Street in Orange in 1992 and now contributes an annual around $200 million each year to the local economy.
“The official opening of these new headquarters reaffirms DPI’s commitment to regional and rural NSW and as the State Agriculture Minister and a proud country MP, I will ensure this connection continues into the future.”
Former NSW Minister for Agriculture, Ian Armstrong, oversaw the decentralisation of NSW DPI to Orange, and his family attended today’s celebration to officially open the new Headquarters, which has been named in his honour.
Mr Marshall said NSW DPI had earned the respect of the primary industries sector as a source of advice and guidance, as well as insights into new technology, markets and how to adapt to a changing landscape.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been part of the DPI journey so far and I hope you share the same sense of pride as I do in the fact we all are playing our role in building a stronger, better New South Wales,” Mr Marshall said.