Carbon farming ‘first step’ a win for people and nature

A statement from Partnership for the Outback

WA’s leading Outback conservation alliance, Partnership for the Outback, has congratulated the McGowan Government on its decision this week to allow carbon farming across WA’s vast pastoral lease estate – one third of the state - labelling it ‘a genuine breakthrough for people and nature’.

Key points:

  • WA Ministers take historic decision to allow carbon farming on pastoral leases to proceed.
  • Decision signals the start of a new multi-billion dollar industry for WA, supporting Outback families and regenerating landscapes.
  • Full implementation of government reform program essential to secure jobs for the long term and unlock even greater potential of carbon farming.

“The decision by Cabinet Ministers has the potential to create a windfall for WA’s regions, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon contracts to WA,” said a spokesperson for Partnership for the Outback. “It will also help to regenerate millions of hectares of bush across degraded countryside, returning land to health and helping to safeguard WA’s unique plants and animals.”

“This very significant first step is thanks to the leadership of Minister Alannah MacTiernan. However for carbon farming to reach its full potential, securing jobs and income for the long term, further reforms will be necessary. Creating a new form of leasehold tenure – which has long been promised as part of broader reforms to outback laws – will be the next step needed to access additional markets and income. These same changes would also open the door for more job-creating diversified enterprises such as tourism and Indigenous ranger programs.”

Carbon farming is the commercial business of allowing and encouraging native bush to regrow, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere so that it is stored in plants and soil. This generates carbon credits that can be sold on national and international markets. It can be integrated with existing pastoral lease industries to diversify incomes, boost productivity and provide a safety net for pastoral businesses.

Partnership for the Outback also congratulates the Outback station families, pastoralists and tens of thousands of people in Perth who campaigned for change to make carbon farming a reality over recent years. “We’ve taken an exciting and universally positive step with this announcement. It’s a win for people power. If we can take the next step of law reform and maximise the potential of this new industry everyone will be a winner.”

Already established in states such as NSW, carbon farming has created jobs in regional and remote areas while regenerating degraded landscapes at little cost to government. Pastoral leases occupy one third of WA and take in some of our most iconic landscapes, from the Kimberley to the Nullarbor.

The announcement from Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan and Minister for Lands Rita Saffioti can be found here.

Further reading:

Further enquiries: info@outbackwa.org.au

Our Outback is an amazing place, but what makes it special is at risk. 

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