Wild dogs have reached plague proportions in pastoral areas and unallocated crown land through to the central desert.
It is now obvious that doggers are essential for wild dog control and we have already used Royalties for Regions funding to employ eight extra doggers.
The wild dog plague needs to be dealt with on many fronts with increased baiting, strategic barrier fencing, research into biological control and the work with indigenous communities, to manage unwanted or neglected camp dogs.
The Livestock Compliance Unit has been ineffective in protecting the vast pastoral industry from theft, not only of livestock but also of electric fencing, solar panels and generators.
The specialist unit within the police force certainly provided more protection so we need to look for a better model.
The three key issues for pastoralists are security of tenure and the ability to diversify, the live export industry and the management of the sandalwood industry.
The Royalties for Regions Rangelands Reform program has been established to amend the Land Administration Act (LAA) to give pastoralists greater financial security and flexibility. It also focuses on diversification for pastoralists and streamlining the permit process. I want to see LAA amended in time for the roll-over of all pastoral leases in 2015 with a minimum 50 year lease.
Producers and those associated with the live export industry in the rangelands suffered a huge blow at the hands of the Federal Government during the live export ban. The Nationals, in its $300m Agricultural policy document have committed to help repair the damage. I will also be working to expand the both the meat and live animal trade to new markets such as Iran and support for local abattoirs like the Shark Lake Food Group in Esperance.
The sandalwood industry is one that requires a thorough review from the allocation of contracts, the price paid to wood pullers, the marketing of the product, the effect of the black market and penalties for illegal harvesting. A full review of the industry in Western Australia and amendment of the Act to bring it into the 21st Century is something I will be working on.