On 26 February 1996, under Public Service Departmental Changes Order (No. 2) 1996, The ‘Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Forestry’ replaced the former Department of Primary Industries, following a change of State Government. Despite the legal change of title, ‘Department of Primary Industries’ was commonly maintained.
During 1996, the Department underwent changes to its portfolio and organisational arrangements in response to the new State Government’s directive, focusing strongly on its role as a rural economic development agency. Parts of the Department were transferred to the newly created Department of Natural Resources in March 1996, including Resource Management and Water Commercial business groups.
Agricultural Chemicals; Animal Welfare
Commercial Forestry and Sawmilling (excluding Wet Tropics Management)
Fisheries Resource Management; Food and Fibre Production; Food Processing and Value Adding Development
Native Forest Management
Plant and Animal Diseases; Primary Industry Research, Development and Extension
Recreation (including Natural Resource Recreation and Education)
The Departmental core business programs were divided into six areas:
Agriculture Industry Development: this program aimed to improve the capacity of the primary production enterprises to operate profitably and sustainably; increase the performance and competitiveness of primary industries; enhance the capacity of industry to meet marketing requirements; and accelerate the adoption of good industry practices and informed decision making. The program was divided into seven business groups: beef, intensive livestock, sheep and grazing game, horticulture, field crops, sugar, research and extension. It provided policy and legislative frameworks for the operation of primary production enterprises, as well as research, development and education services on industry development issues.
Animal and Plant Health Service: Established in July 1997, this program aimed to control significant pests and diseases of animals and plants, preventing their spread and eradicating them where appropriate. The program delivered regulatory, educational and advisory services to encourage industry driven quality assurance initiatives.
Fisheries: The Fisheries program assumed overall responsibility for aquaculture and fishing industry development, fisheries habitat protection and management, fisheries compliance activities, policy development and implementation, research, extension and fish health services. They were also responsible for boating and community safety through compliance monitoring and the shark control program.
Forest Production: DPI Forestry was the commercialised departmental business group responsible for the Forest Production program. The program encompassed the management and marketing of Crown plantation and native forest timber, quarry materials and other forest products on a commercial basis.
Rural Industry Business Services: this program worked in partnership with industry to promote competition in global markets by responding to changing demand for food and fibre products. It consisted of a number of business groups, including the newly established Rural Industries Export Development Group (January 1997) which aimed to develop an increased focus on the international marketplace; and Rural Development and Drought Services.
Corporate Performance and Strategies: provides services in the areas of strategic planning, finance, workforce planning and development, policy and legal affairs, performance management, information management and information technology. Incorporates three units of Corporate Performance; Research, Information and Extension; and Policy and Legal Services.
Notably, a major Departmental restructure saw the discontinuation of the regionalised structure of the Department introduced in 1991-1992 to form a framework of Institutes to deliver research, development and extension (research, development and education) services. This network of rural research and extension institutes were:
Queensland Beef Industry Institute - responsible for research and development in order to develop a sustainable and profitable beef industry.
Farming Systems Institute – provided research, development, education and training focusing on field crop systems of northern Australia.
Queensland Horticulture Institute – aimed to develop and promote technology, information and management practices in order to ensure that the horticulture industry in internationally competitive.
Sheep and Wool Institute – focused on rangelands and on enhancing the wool, sheep and meat industries.
Centre for Food Technology – aimed at helping small to large food manufacturers and processors with all aspects of value adding and postharvest technology, including the adoption of new technology and processes, analytical testing, and export market development.
Queensland Poultry Research and Development Centre – a partnership between DPI, The aimed to undertake industry-oriented research into producing nutritionally healthy, high quality poultry products from livestock.
Australian Tropical Dairy Institute – a joint venture between DPII, the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation and The University of Queensland. Aimed to enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of the northern dairy industry.
Australasian Pig Institute – aimed to enhance the profitability of the pig industry through research, development, and education and training.
Other initiatives included the creation of the statewide Call Centre, the DPI’s worldwide web site and a Board of Management to oversee accountability and financial integrity. Industry Development Councils were established in 1988 to involve industries in developing their own strategic directions.
On 29 June 1998, the Department’s name formally returned to the ‘Department of Primary Industries’.