MLC de­nies PGA in­flu­ence on Lib­er­als

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr and Brad Thomp­son

Lib­eral Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Mark Lewis has de­nied the Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion has too much in­flu­ence over the Lib­eral Party, af­ter Lands Min­is­ter Terry Redman aban­doned at­tempts to re-write laws af­fect­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity across al­most 90 per cent of WA.

The re­forms would have cre­ated a new form of land ten­ure known as a range­lands lease which would not re­strict eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to graz­ing.

Mr Redman said the re­forms were backed by sev­eral sta­tion own­ers out­side the PGA.

“The rea­son I have been un­able to get it on the Cab­i­net agenda is that there is too much sen­si­tiv­ity within the Lib­eral Party and for that I di­rectly blame the PGA, who has ef­fec­tively once again shut down a re­form process that would have de­liv­ered sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to pas­toral­ists,” he said.

Mr Lewis said de­spite ini­ti­at­ing the con­cept, he had never even been asked to con­trib­ute dur­ing the re­form process or devel­op­ment of the Bill. “The PGA’s stance on the ran­ge­land re­form is the PGA’s and whilst the PGA has rep­re­sented their views to me and other Lib­eral MP’s they re­main ex­actly that — the PGA’s views,” he said.

PGA pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook said Mr Redman had been stub­born, bloody-minded and ar­ro­gant. The PGA cam­paign against Mr Redman’s range­lands re­form pack­age gained sup­port from Lib­er­als MPs and the in­dus­try.

A ma­jor stick­ing point was the plan to scrap the Pas­toral Lands Board and re­place it with a broader ad­vi­sory group.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Range­lands re­form would ex­tend land use be­yond graz­ing.

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