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​Unlocking the potential of the Rangelands  

 

Western Australia's Rangelands make up 87% of the State, representing a huge asset which should be unlocked for the benefit all Western Australians.

The State Government wants strong and economically diverse Rangelands, with a thriving pastoral industry. The pastoral estate makes up one third of the Rangelands.

Major industries currently active in the Rangelands include:

  • Pastoralism
  • Resources (Minerals, petroleum and gas)
  • Agriculture (Horticulture, livestock and wool)
  • Tourism (Eco-tourism and camping)
Background

• 2009
Report by the Southern Rangelands Pastoral Advisory Group, Economic and Ecological Sustainability of Pastoralism in the Southern Rangelands was released, providing the impetus for the Rangelands Reform Program.

• 2010
Rangelands Reform Program established with Royalties for Regions funding of $2.25 million to support a dedicated team to progress identified amendments to Part 7 of the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA), the streamlining of the diversification permit process and economic development initiatives.

• 2011
A Rangelands Reform Discussion Paper was developed and released. Stakeholder feedback informed the initial proposals for amendments to the LAA.

• 2012
Cabinet approve drafting of amendments to the LAA.

• 2013
o First draft of an amendment bill delivered to Regional Development and Lands (RDL).
o Then Minister for Lands, Hon. Brendon Grylls MLA, instructs that the amendment bill be split.
o A stand-alone Department of Lands (DoL) is established on 1 July 2013 and takes carriage of the Rangelands Reform project.
o Hon. Terry Redman MLA becomes Minister for Lands.

• 2014
Briefing provided to new Minister for Lands who directs that further amendments to Part 7 of the LAA be considered and the split Bill reinstated.

• 2015
o Following the conclusion of the Pastoral Lease Renewal process on 30 June 2015, further consultation was sought from industry, community and environment representatives on the scope of Rangelands Reform and the addition of further identified amendments to Part 7 of the LAA.
o Cabinet approves drafting of new amendment Bill.

• 2016
o Rangelands Sustainable Economic Development in WA Conference held in March.
o Draft Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016 (draft Bill) released for consultation in April.
o Stakeholder forums held across the State along with a specific forum for Aboriginal stakeholders.
o Amendments were made to the draft Bill as a result of stakeholder feedback.
o Final draft Bill provided to the Minister for Lands in July.
o In August, the Minister determined that the Rangelands Development project be suspended for the current term of Government due to the draft Bill not being included on the Cabinet agenda in time for the approval required to print and introduce the Bill into Parliament.
o The Minister liaises with all stakeholders to advise them of his decision.

 

Legislation

A key step in unlocking the potential of the Rangelands is to update the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA).

Public comment submissions on the Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016 (the Bill) closed in May 2016. It was proposed that the Bill would amend the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA) in response to feedback received as part of the public consultation process.

The purpose of the Bill was to provide the legislative basis for reforms and tenure mechanisms to allow the economic, social and environmental value of the Western Australian Rangelands to be developed for the benefit of all Western Australians.

The expected outcomes of the changes to the LAA are greater investment in the pastoral industry, attraction of new industries into the Rangelands, stronger communities, greater Aboriginal economic participation, and better management of the rangeland asset.

Following the Minister's suspension of the Rangelands Development project, the draft Bill has not progressed to Cabinet.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

Since 2009, a wide range of stakeholders were consulted in the course of developing and implementing the Rangelands Development project.

The extensive communication in the lead up to the release of the draft Bill built on the previous Rangelands Reform consultation.  In anticipation of a relatively short public consultation period, The Department of Lands (DoL) presented to a number of regional and Perth based forums from August 2015 to explain the anticipated changes.  Details of the key proposals to be included in the draft Bill were made available to all stakeholders in February 2016.

As part of the consultation process, there were 10 presentations or one-on-one briefing sessions held with Aboriginal groups to discuss the draft Bill.  This included presentations to the Aboriginal Lands Trust, four Native Title Representative Bodies and various Aboriginal Corporations.  Two DoL staff members also travelled through the Pilbara and Southern Rangelands in March 2016 to meet with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal lessees and conducted five group presentations.

DoL also held the Rangelands: Sustainable Economic Development in Western Australia conference in March 2016 to showcase and discuss initiatives to facilitate economic, business and social development in the Rangelands. A total of 231 people attended and the conference heard from 16 speakers, including the Minister for Regional Development and Lands, the Minister for Water and a number of industry panellists. Attendees represented a wide cross section of stakeholder groups including current occupants of the Rangelands, agricultural and pastoral industries, the resource industry, Aboriginal land owners, Traditional owners, management, finance and investment professionals, environment and conservation sectors, science and innovation sectors, the tourism industry, local government and government agencies. A 30 minute video of conference highlights is available on-line here.

The draft Bill was released in April 2016 for a four week public consultation period.  As part of the formal consultation period, eight Stakeholder Forums were organised by DoL.  In total, 319 people attended the public forums on the draft Bill.  The Stakeholder Forums were held in Perth, Carnarvon, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Mount Magnet, Kalgoorlie and Port Hedland over three weeks.  Attendees represented the pastoral industry, pastoral stations, government agencies, local government, environment organisations, Aboriginal groups, mining groups and banking organisations.  In addition, a session was organised in Derby specifically for Aboriginal consultation with 27 people attending.

DoL received 3,388 submissions during the formal consultation period on the draft Bill. This included 12 submissions from Western Australian Government agencies. 

 

Contact

You can contact the Department of Lands about the Rangelands Development project via: