MLC denies PGA influence on Liberals
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.
Rangelands reform would extend land use beyond grazing.