WAFarmers attacks CALM over charge

26 Nov, 2003 10:00 PM
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THE WA Farmers Federation has attacked the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) for charging a farmer with causing environmental damage onm the eve of review into its prosecution policy guidelines.

Laurie Carmody has been summonsed to appear in court next month.

WAFarmers President Colin Nicholl said that this latest charge defied logic.

³Laurie Carmody has probably done more in the way of natural resource management in his lifetime than the majority of CALM staff put together,² he said.

³That the agency can summons him over such trivial issues is simply unbelievable.

³It appears that the environmental police at CALM have decided to continue down the prosecution path despite their minister clearly signalling her concern at their approach by calling for a review of the prosecution policies.

³On the announcement of the review, WAFarmers commended the minister for her leadership and called for a moratorium on all CALM prosecutions until the review is completed. I will be writing to the Minister again, seeking to have these charges withdrawn.²

WAFarmers has previously highlighted the fact that the worst managed land in WA is CALM-owned and controlled.

The agencies fire management and feral pest and weed management policies leave a lot to be desired.

³Surely, the management of their own land should be a greater priority that the continued harassment of farmers,² Mr Nicholl said.

³CALM¹s executive director recently met with WAFarmers and agreed to the development of a good neighbour policy.

³The co-operation of farmers in achieving any sort of sound relationship with CALM is becoming more remote with each trivial prosecution.

³Farmers have literally had enough of this attitude from CALM it is time for the minister to step in and call a halt to these actions.

³CALM needs to be reminded that they rely heavily on the good will of farmers, particularly during the bushfire season.²

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