New extension officer to work with the State’s olive industry
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Acting Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director-General, Agriculture and Fisheries, Doug Hocking, today announced the appointment of Karen O’Malley as Industry Development Officer for the NSW olive industry.
Mr Hocking said Ms O’Malley’s role would include working closely with the State’s growers to assist in developing a profitable and successful industry.
‘Ms O’Malley brings valuable expertise with several years of experience in production horticulture and research,’ he said.
‘Her experience includes integrated pest management, market development, soil management, whole farm planning and quality assurance.
‘The position is located at Bathurst, enabling Ms O’Malley to cover the five major olive production centres of northern NSW, Hunter Valley, Central West, Riverina, and the Southern Tablelands and Highlands.
‘About 700 growers produce about 1800 tonnes for oil and 200 tonnes for fresh fruit with a farm gate value of $1.6 million for oil - expected to increase to about $70 million by 2012.’
Ms O’Malley’s interest in commercial olive production began in 1996 when she developed an industry development plan for NSW Agriculture, designed to support the newly expanding olive industry.
‘Australian olive oil is exported in modest volumes to European, Japanese and USA markets, however, it is highly regarded for its high quality and the olive industry is optimistic that demand will continue,’ Mr Hocking said.
‘It is important we have the expertise of extension officers such as Ms O’Malley to provide ongoing support for the State’s thriving oil industry.’
Ms O’Malley will be supported by a team of district horticulture extension officers strategically located around the State.
She replaces the department’s former olive industry development officer, Damian Conlan, whose untimely passing in February 2005 will be commemorated with an olive planting at Yanco Agricultural Institute in October.
Karen O’Malley can be contacted at the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Bathurst Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on 02 6330 1212 or karen.o’email@example.com.
Media contacts: Trudy Glasgow on 02 6391 3312 or Brett Fifield on 02 6391 3311.