Create a modern Outback
The Modern Outback is the vast heartland of Australia. It's one of the world's last great natural places and generates much of Australia's wealth.
Its natural environments support people, jobs, and economies. Covering around 89 per cent of WA's landmass and less than two per cent of the population living there, the Outback faces serious challenges. Many regions are in long-term environmental, social and economic decline, consequences of the productivity of the land and the wellbeing of both people and nature.
The Modern Outback needs people to manage the threats it faces, but there are less people in the Outback than there has been for many thousands of years. Because too few people are tending these lands, parts of the Outback are faltering.
Since the 1800s it’s been against the law to own an Outback Station in WA and not earn your living from cattle or sheep. Pastoralism is part of the economic and social fabric of the Outback but on its own it’s not enough. People should be allowed to do what works for their land and nature. Part of the solution is to address barriers for landholders and create incentives to support diverse land uses that will bring more diversity of opportunity to the regions and help restore the environment.
Addressing these long-term challenges has great potential to provide a more diversified, resilient and inclusive economy, alongside the environmental and climate change mitigation benefits of protecting and restoring the Outback.
How to create a Modern Outback
Partnership for Outback supports changing laws to enable better land use. We support a range of programs that bring new opportunities that work for the environment and nature and get people back into the Outback. These include private land conservation funded by Government and philanthropic donors, carbon farming, enabling Native Title Rights, Aboriginal Land Management, NRM and land stewardship, tourism and science.
Support is needed for further reforms to develop legal, policy and funding pathways to encourage diverse opportunities in the pastoral estate, with a focus on activities that provide jobs whilst protecting the environment, reducing carbon in the atmosphere, support co-management with Traditional owners and restoring landscape productivity for future generations.
It's up to all of us to protect our Outback.