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Rangelands report card now available

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has made available a report examining sustainable resource use in the pastoral regions of Western Australia.

The ‘Report Card on sustainable natural resource use in the rangelands’ provides an overview of the pastoral rangelands and trends in the natural resource base.

Western Australia’s rangelands cover 87 per cent of the State, with approximately 40 per cent used for pastoral production.

Pastoral leases are managed to maintain grazing productivity as well as ecological diversity, for future generations.

Department Irrigated Agriculture Executive Director John Ruprecht said the Report Card provided the most up-to-date assessment of the status and trends of the vegetation and soil resource of WA’s pastoral rangelands.

“The Report Card shows that while vegetation condition in the pastoral rangelands has been largely stable over the last decade, there remain areas where rangeland condition needs to be improved, both in the northern and southern rangelands,” Mr Ruprecht said.

“The pastoral rangelands have highly variable landscapes, soils, vegetation, rainfall and seasonality. Seasonal conditions, grazing pressure and fire are key drivers of change in the rangelands.”

The information in the Report Card is intended for use by pastoral lessees, other rangeland and pastoral managers, industry and government.

Mr Ruprecht said global demand for food and fibre would bring new challenges and opportunities to the pastoral sector.

“Future development of the rangelands will focus on improved ecological sustainability through good soil and vegetation management, as well as allowing for diversification such as irrigated agriculture and tourism,” he said.

The Report Card is available on the department website at agric.wa.gov.au/rangelandsreportcard.