Pas­toral­ists warn min­is­ter on Ran­ge­lands leases

Pilbara News - - News - Brad Thomp­son and Ai­den Boy­ham

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.

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