On 1 July 2004, the Department of Agriculture was abolished and all branches were transferred to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI). (1) The Department of Agriculture, known as NSW Agriculture, became part of the Agriculture and Fisheries Division of DPI. The Division was responsible for the delivery of integrated and cost effective services to communities and the agricultural and fishing primary industries. (2)
NSW Agriculture was highly decentralised with a management structure which ensured that services of research, education, extension and regulatory operations were effectively delivered to clients. A program structure was been established to provide specialised service delivery in agricultural matters. The programs included: Agricultural Protection; Agricultural Resource Management; Agsell; Animal Welfare; Economic Services; Education and Training; Farming Systems; Field Crops; Food Safety; Horticultural Products and Plant Protection; Meat, Diary and Intensive Livestock Products; Pastures and Rangelands; Quality Assurance; Wool and Sheepmeat Services. These Programs were supported by Corporate Services within DPI. (3)
In 2005, NSW Agriculture operated from over 100 locations across New South Wales including its head office in Orange, in the Central West of the state. There were seven Regional Directors throughout the state based in Broken Hill, Dubbo, Goulburn, Gunnedah, Maitland, Wollongbar, and Yanco. NSW Agriculture operated the CB Alexander College at Paterson and Murrumbidgee College at Yanco in addition to 28 research and laboratory establishments. (4)
In 2007, restructuring of DPI created new divisions and NSW Agriculture was moved into the Agriculture, Biosecurity and Mine Safety Division of DPI. The division comprised of eight branches: Private Forestry and Resources, Intensive Industries Development, Extensive Industries Development & Education, Animal & Plant Biosecurity, Emergencies, Weeds & Pest Animals, Compliance Standards & RLPB [Rural Lands Protection Boards] Alliance, Animal Welfare and Mine and Forest Safety Performance. (5)
On 1 July 2009, DPI (and NSW Agriculture) was transferred to the newly established Department of Industry and Investment. Within the Department, NSW Agriculture was established under the Industry Development, Agriculture and Forestry branch within the Primary Industries Division. (6)
On 1 July 2011, the establishment of the DPI as a Departmental Office within the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, led to a department restructure. NSW Agriculture was separated to its own division and renamed to Agriculture NSW. Agriculture NSW’s core activities included research, development, and education for farmers, foresters and agribusiness, fostering business development for agriculture and forestry, and providing advice to government on policy development and potential impacts on the agricultural and forestry sectors. (7)
By 2014, Agriculture NSW became commonly referred to as DPI Agriculture. (8)
From 1 July 2015, when the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services was abolished the Department of Primary Industries [III] became a branch of the Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development. (9) From 1 April 2017, the name of the Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development was changed to the Department of Industry. (10) On 1 July 2019 the Department of Industry was abolished. DPI (and DPI Agriculture) were added to the new Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. (11)
Staff from in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment were transferred to Regional NSW on 2 April 2020 and DPI (and DPI Agriculture) were established as a branch within the newly formed department. (12)
1. NSW Government Gazette Special Supplement, No.100, 18 June 2004, p3816. 2. NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/reader/dpi-about-us (accessed 9 February 2005).
3. NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website, www.agric.nsw.gov.au/reader/corp-codes/guarantee.htm (accessed 9 February 2005).
5. Department of Primary Industries, Annual Report 2007-2008, pp.1, 18.
6. Public Sector Employment and Management (Departmental Amalgamations) Order 2009 (2009 No 352) cls. 16; notified on NSW Legislation website, 27 July 2009.; Department of Industry and Investment, Annual Report 2009-2010, p.16.
7. NSW Trade and Investment, Annual Report, 2011-2012, pp.7, 13.
8. NSW Trade and Investment Annual Report, 2014-2015, p.20.
9. Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes–Public Service Agencies) Order (No.2) 2015 (2015 No.250) cls.6 (1) and (7); notified on NSW Legislation Website, 29 May 2015.
10. Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes-Public Service Agencies) Order 2017 (2017 No.79) cls.7; notified on NSW Legislation Website, 15 March 2017.
11. Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes - Public Service Agencies) Order 2019 (2019 No 159), clause 9 (2); notified on NSW Legislation Website, 2 April 2019 as amended by Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Public Service Agencies) Order 2019 (2019 No 180), Schedule 1 ; notified on NSW Legislation Website, 1 May 2019.
12. Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Regional NSW and Independent Planning Commission) Order 2020 (2020 No 121); cl. 4; notified on NSW Legislation Website, 2 April 2021.