Push against tenure changes
The State Government faces a showdown with Gina Rinehart if it tries to push through changes to the Land Administration Act without the support of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association.
The PGA has blasted Lands Minister Terry Redman over the proposed changes, which include scrapping the Pastoral Lands Board.
Mrs Rinehart said Hancock Prospecting would liaise with the PGA over any changes to land use laws covering almost 90 per cent of the State.
“We would not like to see the pastoral industry diminished in any way,” she said.
“The pastoral industry is very valuable and contributes greatly to the wealth of Australia. We would not want to see anything introduced that would reduce the abili- ty to graze livestock.” The PGA is concerned about moves to replace the PBL with a Pastoral and Rangelands Advisory Board made up of a broader group, including those in conservation and tourism. The current and past four PGA presidents wrote to Mr Redman urging him to retain the PLB.
Mrs Rinehart and her family have long-standing ties to the pastoral industry through Mulga Downs and Hancock Prospecting now owns Liveringa, Nerrima and Fossil Downs in the Kimberley.
Yougawalla Pastoral Company owner Harold Mitchell and others say the proposed changes will unlock the value and productivity in pastoral leases covering 87 million hectares.
Mr Redman said he had tried to deal with the PGA concerns by creating safeguards, including giving pastoralists the right of appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal.