WAFarmers urges the elected State Government to develop an online portal for the state’s apiary industry and government to allow more efficient information exchange and collection.
Speaking on one of the Wish List items that forms part of their Policy Platform, WAFarmers President Tony York said an online portal would provide a central database for the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s (DPaW) apiary activities, as well as industry activities.
“Current communication between the apiary industry and government could use improvement, as could apiarists’ access to resources that would generate greater returns for their product and the industry as a whole,” he said.
“The online database is a long term option that would strengthen communication between the DPaW head office, DPaW district apiary officers, and the industry, as there would be greater transparency in activities, and less likelihood of miscommunication.
“It would significantly improve re-application processes and communication methods, provide a centralised database for all apiary information and, we believe, increase production and yields.”
Under the proposed model, an apiarist would have an individual login that would enable them to see all of their current sites, any sites that may be impacted by DPaW activities, as well as the option to view sites that are available by DPaW or sites that an apiarist is willing to sub-lease out.
Mr York said the database would be a win-win for industry and government.
“Apiarists must currently notify DPaW district officers in advance if they plan on using a site and also when the site is vacated, however as this notification system is not centralised, and in some circumstances is not compatible with notification services, this can lead to miscommunication,” he said.
“It would also streamline the current application or re-application process for apiarists, which is heavily reliant on paperwork and the vigilance of the apiarist and DPaW officers.
“Further, the portal would also provide a significant resource of information that could be used to further improve the value of the industry, and utilised for research projects for the benefit of the industry.
“From DPaW’s perspective, it would be a central access point that would digitalise their paperwork and maps, allowing them to see at a glance the sites that are currently in use by apiarists.
“This knowledge would assist with planning for prescribed burns and logging activities, and improve information available on sites impacted by wildfires, as well as other forestry activities including spraying or maintenance that may impact on hive health and safety.”