WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan joined Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie in Margaret River on Friday to mark the opening of a new hemp processing facility.
Buoyed by a State government investment, the Margaret River Hemp Processing facility is the first of its kind in Western Australia.
A $399,000 grant through the McGowan Government's Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund and Industrial Hemp Grants Scheme will allow the facility to process locally grown hemp into hurd, fibre and fines for the building and textile industries.
The hurd, taken from the core of the hemp stem, is being used to make hempcrete masonry walls featured in sustainable hemp homes, as well as for horse and pet bedding and hydro mulch.
The fibre is suitable for insulation and mattress padding.
South West building company Hemp Homes Australia has used material processed at the local facility to build hemp houses in Margaret River.
Mc MacTiernan said a new job-creating industry was taking hold in the South West.
"Local processing is critical to drive the emerging hemp industry in the South-West - it makes hemp a more valuable cropping option," she said.
"Margaret River builder Gary Rogers and Esperance farmer David Campbell have done a great job to have the vision and commitment to get this project off the ground.
"Hemp is an emerging industry, with processed industrial hemp materials having the potential to replace cardboard, paper, wood and even plastics in many applications across the building, textile and industrial sectors in the future.
"We invest in regional projects like this to support industry expansion and diversification of local economies."