The State Government has welcomed the Auditor General’s report on pastoral lands.
While the fragility of Western Australia’s pastoral lands has been evident for decades, the report notes a dramatic reduction in monitoring and research since 2009 has contributed to a lack of understanding about land conditions at a lease level.
A number of recommendations from the report have already commenced implementation by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and the Pastoral Lands Board (PLB), including:
- Finalising a Memorandum of Understanding in relation to service provision to the PLB from both DPLH and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD);
- Assisting the PLB to draft a policy on the interpretation of ecological sustainability in the context of pastoral land, with supporting guidance for pastoral managers on good practice land management; and
- Engaging at director general level with DPIRD, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in relation to interagency approvals processes for diversified economic activities on pastoral land.
The McGowan Government says it is committed to sustainable development and diversification of pastoral lands, with further details on future consultations to be announced in coming weeks.