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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Cover of Rural research and development - WSSD 2002 fact sheet

Rural research and development

WSSD 2002 fact sheet
Environment Australia, August 2002

PDF file

About the fact sheet

Investment in research and development (R&D), the implementation of results and ongoing innovation are integral to Australia's prosperity - nowhere more so than in the farm sector, rural communities and related industries.

Australia's thriving rural industries continue to adapt and be at the forefront of change - they are innovative, modern and diverse. R&D supporting the rural sector ensures that it will continue to be both productive and sustainable into the future and is part of the science, engineering and technological advances that will underpin future national prosperity.

The Australian Government's commitment to rural R&D started more than 50 years ago and has evolved into a unique and effective network of rural industry Research and Development Corporations (RDCs). The RDC system is now recognised as one of the longest-standing and successful government commitments to innovation in any industry and as world's best practice. The RDCs cover cotton, dairying, fisheries, forest and wood products, grains, grape and wine, horticulture, meat, pork, sugar, tobacco and wool. In addition there are two general RDCs, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and Land and Water Australia, which invest in new and emerging rural industries and broad natural resource management issues respectively.

The network of RDCs complements a system of other R&D providers that mainly concentrates on basic research across broad disciplines. These providers include the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and State and Territory government agencies and universities.