Liberals endorse carbon farming
A group of WA rangelands pastoralists have signed a petition calling on the future State Government to support the development of a carbon farming industry in WA’s outback.
The petition, signed by 40 people, is being sent to party candidates and MPs in key regional seats, such as the Pilbara, in advance of the election. Petition organiser Jason Hastie, from Pingandy Station in the Upper Gascoyne, said a recent report outlining the potential of carbon farming in WA found the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative could provide millions of dollars of new income to pastoralists and restore productivity to long-degraded lands.
Under the initiative, farmers and land managers can earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the land. These credits can then be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset their emissions.
The report, released by the carbon and rangelands policy working group in December, identified carbon farming as being worth almost $200,000 a year to the average pastoral lease in the southern part of WA’s outback. “The view of many pastoralists was that carbon farming in the outback rangelands has potential to strengthen the regional economy, social fabric and productivity of regional WA,” Mr Hastie said. “It offers pastoralists the opportunity to diversify income streams, survive the boom and bust of droughts and markets, and restore large tracts of degraded land at no cost to Government.” Mr Hastie said WA was already missing out on carbon farming investment opportunities.
“Western Australia needs the political leadership and policy to support carbon farming in the rangelands,” he said.
Liberal challenger for the seat of Pilbara Mark Alchin said if he was elected on Saturday, he would aim to ensure the necessary legislation was carried forward.