Share Your Thoughts on the Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016

Written on the 25 February 2016 by Melva Stone

Share Your Thoughts on the Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016

Kimberley pastoralists will have the opportunity to comment on the Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016 in mid April, when information sessions are to be held in Broome and Halls Creek.

Rangelands cover 87 percent of the land mass of Western Australia and has global significance, because it contains some of the world's most ancient and unique ecosystems.

The Western Australian Government recognizes the need to develop the Rangelands to benefit all Western Australians. Current legislation governing land tenure in the Rangelands does not fully meet the needs of Western Australia. Amendments to the Land Administration Act 1997 will improve the way the Rangelands is developed, managed and monitored.

Over half of the Rangelands is non-pastoral land, whilst current focus is on administering the pastoral estate. The State Government must consider the needs of other existing and potential Rangelands industries and stakeholders to create opportunities for innovation.

Future development must look at ways to harness the enormous potential of the Rangelands and consider the complex needs of social, environmental and cultural issues, alongside a wide range of business interests. Allowing the diversification of pastoral businesses could also help younger family members to stay on the land, keeping families together and communities stronger.

Pastoral businesses in the Rangelands need long - term security. They operate on business plans with much longer timeframes than other businesses and security of tenure is vital. To meet this need, the draft Bill proposes that there will be a statutory right for renewal for pastoral lessees who comply with lease conditions and allow for pastoral leases to be increased to the maximum term of 50 years.

A Rangelands lease that will provide businesses with more flexibility in the type and number of activities than can be undertaken will also remove the current constraints to investment.

A copy of the Position Paper on the proposed Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016 is available from the Chamber. The Position Paper provides key reasons and expected benefits of the proposed changes and will help interested parties to prepare to provide comments and feedback at the forthcoming information sessions.

The Chamber will notify Members of the date and venue for the information sessions, when provided to us.

Image caption: Camels wander through the WA rangelands. Courtesy David Warburton, Department of Agriculture and Food

Author:Melva Stone

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