MacTiernan takes on pastoral reform
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has taken over responsibility for progressing pastoral lands reform.
In a surprise move, Ms MacTiernan, who had worked as minister for lands in the former Gallop/ Carpenter Labor government and worked on alternative models for pastoral tenure, will replace Lands and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, who is busy working on Metronet.
Ms MacTiernan said she was keen to start the pastoral lands reform process, which had been put back on the State Government agenda after Ms Saffioti committed to restarting it in June.
If Ms MacTiernan gets reform legislation through Parliament, she will succeed where former lands minister Terry Redman failed.
This engagement will build on the consultation being undertaken by the Pastoral Lands Board with pastoral leaseholders aimed at increasing economic diversification, streamlining approval processes and boosting security of tenure.
Key opportunities to be explored through the pastoral lands reform process include carbon farming, irrigated agriculture, and tourism.
Ms MacTiernan will inform Ms Saffioti of critical decision points as the reform program progresses.
The ministers will present a joint submission to Cabinet once the consultation process is complete.
“The rangelands are capable of sustaining far more economic activity and job-creating potential if we get this right,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“We need to build the ecological sustainability of pastoral lands through diversification and attention to the regeneration of soil and vegetation.
“We will work closely with industry on a model that will deliver real opportunities on pastoral lands to create new jobs and economic development across the State.”
Mount Magnet pastoralist Jorgen Jensen said he was confident Ms MacTiernan would play a vital role in rangelands reform.
Mr Jensen, whose family had run sheep on their station, Yoweragabbie, for more than 50 years before destocking five years ago because of wild dog attacks, said southern rangelands pastoralists urgently needed a re-energised pastoral board to work with the industry.
“Diversification needs to be encouraged because the outcome of that will be less pressure applied to the rangelands,” he said.