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Federal help needed on clearing bans

Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia

THE Productivity Commission has been asked to recommend Federal intervention to address Western Australia’s massive land clearing problem.

The WA Government is refusing to acknowledge that its bans on the clearing of native vegetation are costing hundreds of WA landowners hundreds of millions of dollars.

PGA asked the Productivity Commission at its recent Perth hearing to urge the Federal Government to take the issue up with the State Government – as it has done in Queensland.

There is a problem of similar magnitude in WA but it is being ignored with landowners left to shoulder all of the burden.

The PGA outlined to the Productivity Commission a blueprint for sensible development of new land in the Binnu area of WA which had a high proportion of remnant vegetation.

This involved the issue of limited clearing permits to landowners who could clear without any risk of causing salinity, help for owners of developed land where salinity posed a problem and compensating those with virgin land that should not be cleared.

The commissioners expressed keen interest in the proposal because they could see that it represented a responsible approach to an extremely complex problem – one that could be repeated in many other areas of WA.

– Craig Underwood

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