Calls for hemp industry to boost jobs, economy

Shannon BochenekManjimup-Bridgetown Times

A hemp industry representative met with the Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council last month to discuss the potential future of a “multi-million-dollar” industry in the South West.

Industrial Hemp Western Australia Association Inc. spokesman and Nannup grower Glenn Ossy-Orley said he felt he had managed to interest the council in future developments at what was a crucial time in the industry’s development.

“If we don’t take up the challenge now, we’ll lose out to overseas production,” he said.

Mr Ossy-Orley said a West Australian industry had potential to span from “Albany to Argyle” and told the Times hemp crops could yield a profit of between $4000 and $10,000 per hectare.

“You’d be lucky to make that in general farming like cattle or wheat,” he said.

Mr Ossy-Orley said he believed Australia could be leaders in hemp production but WA seemed hesitant to develop the industry locally.

“I don’t understand why we’re lagging,” he said.

“Why aren’t we leaders in the world?”

“We have the intelligence and the machinery to harvest.”

Mr Ossy-Orley called for local and State governments to recognise the potential and to invest, saying the production and processing of hemp in WA could create jobs as well as benefit the State environmentally and economically.

Mr Ossey-Orley told the Times he felt the council had expressed interest in future prospects and he was planning to be in contact again in the near future.

The Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.

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