Pastoralists warn minister on Rangelands leases
The final draft of legislation to reform WA’s Rangelands leases has met opposition from the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, which warned Lands Minister Terry Redman could end up covered in “mud and blood” if he tried to push ahead with the changes.
The industry group said it supported reform of pastoral leases and crown land, but not those favoured by Mr Redman.
PGA president Tony Seabrook said the Lands Minister had refused to listen to the concerns of the majority of pastoralists in tinkering with legislation he is hoping to present during the spring session of Parliament.
“We have had forums all over WA on the issue, but they (Mr Redman and the Department of Lands) don’t seem to be able to listen,” he said.
“What really angers the PGA is that they have put some good stuff in with bad stuff and because we oppose the bad stuff they say we stand against all reform — we don’t.”
Mr Seabrook said the “bad stuff” was the move to scrap the Pastoral Lands Board.
He said all Mr Redman had to do to win PGA support was keep the board and make a few other minor tweaks.
“Without the PLB we are concerned about the aggregation of power in the Department of Lands and a totally inadequate appeals process for pastoralists who find themselves in dispute,” Mr Seabrook said.
Mr Redman said the new model replacing the PLB would include the creation of an industry advocate, with an industry review panel that would provide the minister with independent advice on land condition issues relating to individual leases.
More than 350 people attended stakeholder forums across regional WA. The draft Bill is expected to be tabled in State Parliament this month.