Tour 1 – Agricultural Field Tour

Perth – York – Cunderdin – Merredin

Leaving Perth early, we will have our first stop and breakfast in York. York is in the Avon Valley of Western Australia. It is situated 97 kilometres east of Perth, a pleasant 1.5 hour drive. It is one of the most charming and picturesque towns in Western Australia. Founded in 1831 on the banks of the Avon River, it was the first inland European settlement in WA. York has a long history and a unique past, with many of its old buildings still being utilised today. It has much to offer, from its naturally beautiful scenery to picturesque farmlands, and an abundance of activities and attractions. York is also well known for annual events and festivals, ranging from music, to arts and crafts, to vintage motor vehicles, cultural sporting events and its historical gardens and roses.

We will then visit 2 field trials near York. One trial is a GRDC field trial, looking at different copper strategies, the other is a CSBP trial looking at soil wetter in combination with N, P and K treatments.

Our next stop will be in Cunderdin to visit David Fulwood, a grower who is applying precision agriculture in terms of variable rate technologies and controlled traffic farming. His family business (5500+ hectares) is located between Cunderdin and Meckering, Western Australia. David produces grain under a dry land, no-till, controlled traffic system. The average annual growing season (April to October) rainfall is 295 mm (274 mm last 10 years, and 168 mm in 2006).

Our last stop will be the Dryland Research Institute in Merredin. The grain belt of WA contributes more than $4.5 billion to WA’s economy per year. Merredin (lat 31.48, long 118.28) is situated on the eastern edge of the central grain belt. The Dryland Research Institute of the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA is located about 5 km west of Merredin and about 260 km north-east of Perth. Demonstrations of practical ways in which farmers can adapt to climate change is the aim of a new national initiative, which includes a demonstration site at the Dryland Research Institute.

 More information on the Western Australian Wheatbelt can be found here.  


Tour 2 – Perth Industry Visits


1) Landgate:

As a Statutory Authority, Landgate maintains the State’s official register of land ownership and survey information for the 2,645,600km2 of Western Australia and is responsible for valuing the State's land and property for government interest. 

Landgate is at the cutting edge of location information technology. The agency in conjunction with the WALIS office (a section within Landgate) recently led the development of a groundbreaking concept that allows multiple government agencies to share spatial information - The Shared Land Information Platform, otherwise known as SLIP. The SLIP Enabling Framework (SLIP Enabler) is the infrastructure that allows users to access the government's significant land and geographic information resources. The Western Australian Land Information System (WALIS) is a dynamic partnership of government agencies working with business, education and the general community to manage and promote the State’s land and geospatial information. Established by the WA Government in 1981, WALIS is responsible for coordinating across-government access and delivery of the geographic information held by WA Government agencies. WALIS achieves this through committees, the good will of WALIS member agencies and partners, and the WALIS Office. In 2008 Landgate launched the Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP) Enabler. The SLIP Enabler facilitates the sharing of spatial information across government and business to provide the community with easier access to data. It provides the infrastructure and services required to access Western Australia's considerable land and geographic information resources.

The authority provides a wide range of hard copy and digital products such as Certificates of Title, Property Sales Reports, Survey Plans, aerial photography, satellite imagery, maps and data, and are responsible for valuing the State's land and property for government interest.They also provide consultancy services in the areas of survey, valuation (government only), international relations, pastoral and rangelands, and Native Titles. Landgate also provide the mapping and index data for the Melway Perth Street Directory and StreetSmart Traveller's Atlas.

2) Kings Park:

Kings Park is a 4.06-square-kilometre (1,003-acre) park located on the western edge of the central business district in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. The park is a mixture of grassed parkland, botanical gardens and natural bushland on Mount Eliza with two thirds of the grounds conserved as native bushland. With panoramic views of the Swan River and Darling Range, it is home to over 300 native plant varieties and 80 bird species. It overlooks the city as well as Perth Water and Melville Water on the Swan River.

It is one of the largest inner city parks in the world and the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia, being visited by over five million people each year. The park is larger than New York's Central Park which is 3.41 km².

Besides tourist facilities Kings Park contains the State War Memorial, the Royal Kings Park Tennis club and a reservoir. The streets are tree lined with individual plaques dedicated by family members to Western Australian service men and women who died in World War I and World War II.

During September of each year Kings Park hosts Australia's largest wildflower show and exhibition - the Kings Park Festival. 


3) iVEC:

iVEC is the government-supported high-performance computing centre of Western Australia. iVEC supports researchers in Western Australia and across Australia.

iVEC is an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. These are CSIRO plus all four public universities in Western Australia. Funding comes from the joint venture partners, the Western Australian Government and the Australian Government. iVEC services are free to members of the joint venture. Free access to supercomputers is also available to researchers across Australia via a competitive merit process. Services are also provided to industry and government.

iVEC provides infrastructure to support a computational research workflow. This includes supercomputers and cloud computing, data storage and visualisation. The infrastructure is located at the joint venture members, linked by a dedicated high speed network.

iVEC is an integral component of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio astronomy telescopes. A dedicated network links the telescopes directly to the Pawsey Centre, where the data will be processed, stored and remotely visualised. This network is operated by AARNet, with the Perth-Geraldton link funded by the Australian Government Regional Blackspot Program.