Kimberley’s beauty will be lost forever if Rangeland reform not prioritised: Greens

Thursday 11 October

The WA Greens have called on the state Government to heed advice on the governance and ecological sustainability of our state’s pastoral lands, after the findings of an audit tabled to Parliament yesterday revealed decades of policy failure.

Environment and Lands spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said it was clear in the report released by the Auditor General that the Pastoral Lands Board (PLB) was no longer able to fulfil its environmental responsibilities, leading to a serious decline in rangeland condition across WA’s iconic outback.

“The PLB is reliant on Limited Lease Monitoring to assess rangeland condition, which has declined from a frankly unacceptably low 15 per cent of all leases assessed in 2009 to now less than 3 per cent,” Mr Chapple said.

“We’re seeing significant decline in rangeland health over the last 50 years or more and whilst the Auditor General has identified some avenues for rectifying the issue, the Greens believe much broader reform is needed to solve this outback crisis.

“In the Kimberley, the government has identified that many pastoral leases are experiencing declining rangeland conditions and acknowledged there is no obligation for ecologically sustainable practices under the current management.

“In questions to Parliament last month the Minister identified 17 pastoral stations at-risk in the region across all rangeland conditions with no management plan to address these declines.

“Many of these pastoral stations include at-risk populations of Bilbies, sensitive wetland areas and other fragile ecosystems that have been in significant decline for decades with limited progress towards halting this decline.

“A serious change in policy is critical if we are to preserve our precious Kimberley for future generations and tourism aspirations, and I call on the new Labor Government to prioritise rangeland reform.”

Kimberley Pastoral Leases identified as being in serious decline:

-          Alice Downs

-          Bedford Downs

-          Billiluna

-          Bulka

-          Christmas Creek

-          Koongie Park

-          Lake' Gregory

-          Lansdowne

-          Lissadell

-          Moola Bulla

-          Mt Arnhurst

-          Mt House

-          Nerrima

-          Rosewood

-          Springvale

-          Texas Downs/Mabel Downs

-          Yeeda


The Question on rangeland condition asked by Hon Robin Chapple MLC on 12 September, 2017 is attached.

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