THEWestern Australian Farmers Federation says it welcomes the Federal Government’s response to the Senate Committee on Finance and Public Administration’s Review of Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement and Climate Change Measures.
"The Government has identified the need for each state to review its native vegetation laws, particularly in the area of incentive-based programs," the farm lobby group said.
"These programs can provide for landholders to earn income for protecting high quality native vegetation."
WAFarmers Climate Change and Land Management spokesperson, Dale Park, said the Government’s response was consistent with the comments made in WAFarmers’ submission to the review.
The WAFarmers submission stated: The state’s legislative framework had failed to deliver effective environmental management in Western Australia whilst at the same time placing significant land-use restrictions on farm businesses. Land clearing restrictions impose costs on farm businesses that are equivalent to that of productive, income generating farmland. WAFarmers believes that to deliver agricultural, environmental and social benefits, a change in the legislative framework is required.
“WAFarmers land clearing policy seeks recognition for the financial, social and environmental cost borne by Western Australian farmers through the application of the state’s land clearing laws,” Mr Park said.
“As the management of native vegetation is principally a state-based responsibility, we look to the State Government for implementation of these recommendations, particularly in the area of incentives for farmers to deliver on these environmental outcomes.”
The release of the Federal Government’s response occurs at a time when the Minister for Environment, Hon. Bill Marmion, is reviewing proposed amendments to land clearing legislation developed through the Clearing of Native Vegetation Review.
“WAFarmers will be seeking to ensure that any state-based developments in land clearing are consistent with the review’s recommendations,” Mr Park concluded.