Min­is­ter revives range­lands re­form

Pilbara News - - News - Rueben Hale

Range­lands re­form is back on the State Govern­ment agenda af­ter WA Lands Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti com­mit­ted to restart­ing the process.

Last week Ms Saf­fi­oti said she in­tended con­sult­ing with in­dus­try and com­mu­nity in the next six to 12 months be­fore start­ing re­newed ne­go­ti­a­tions and con­sul­ta­tions.

For­mer lands min­is­ter Terry Red­man had failed to get draft leg­is­la­tion on the cab­i­net agenda in the face of re­sis­tance from Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion.

The lobby group was ac­cused of us­ing its in­flu­ence within the Lib­eral Party to en­sure it would not see the light of day.

But PGA pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook said Mr Red­man “only had him­self to blame” for its fail­ure be­cause of his un­will­ing­ness to ne­go­ti­ate with them on how the Pas­toral Lands Board would func­tion in the fu­ture.

What fol­lowed was a war of words be­tween Mr Seabrook and Mr Red­man, with the lat­ter at­tack­ing the PGA over its in­flu­ence over the Lib­eral Party.

Iron­i­cally, at the time, Mr Seabrook ad­mit­ted pas­toral­ists could find them­selves “a damn sight worse off” if La­bor won the State elec­tion in March.

One of the hot top­ics to be fleshed out will be the fu­ture role of the Pas­toral Lands Board with pre­vi­ous ten­sions be­tween the PGA and Mr Red­man re­lated to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a broader ad­vi­sory group tak­ing in rep­re­sen­ta­tives from con­ser­va­tion, tourism, min­ing and other stake­hold­ers.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that Ms Safiotti’s com­ments about re­viv­ing range­lands re­form were just anec­do­tal,” Mr Seabrook said.

“But we're very sur­prised if the min­is­ter is off talk­ing to in­dus­try and com­mu­nity be­fore they have con­sulted the peak body re­spon­si­ble for rep­re­sent­ing pas­toral­ists,” he said.

Mr Seabrook said he was con­cerned the DoL was still brood­ing over the fail­ure of Mr Red­man's reforms pack­age.

“We re­main con­cerned over any at­tempt to ar­rest power from the PLB and put it in the hands of a min­is­ter or the DoL,” he said.

“The rea­son for that is that it will jeop­ar­dise the value of a pas­toral lease.”

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