A former pastoralist who lived on a sheep station for 35 years has met with the Western Australian Premier to ask for changes to the laws that govern the Outback.
Meg Officer drew on her experience of life in the Murchison region of WA to advocate for people in the rangelands during her meeting with the Premier.
She took the opportunity to present Premier Colin Barnett with a stunning book of Outback photographs that includes the names of 10,000 Western Australian Outback supporters!
This is an exciting milestone as it means that the Premier is now very much aware of the depth of support for the Outback among Western Australians. A big thank you to Meg for presenting the book on behalf of all those who signed it during 2015.
Meg arranged the meeting with Premier Barnett to ask him to ensure that the proposed new laws support Outback people to manage the land effectively across the rangelands. The rangelands account for 90% of WA's landmass.
Meg's family owned the lease at Woolgorong Station in the Murchison for 35 years and she witnessed firsthand the loss of people from the area.
‘The country at Woolgorong means a lot to me and to my family, but like many other leaseholders, we found it hard to make a living – operating as we were within the restrictions of the pastoral lease system,' Meg says.
‘The rangelands need hands-on management. Otherwise fire, feral animals and weeds go unchecked and threaten native animals and plants, as well as threatening the livelihoods of neighbouring pastoralists.’
In the months leading up to Meg's meeting, the Premier received hundreds of postcards and emails from Outback supporters – all of which add up to show our state’s top politician that people right across WA care about the future of the Outback.
Thank you to Meg and to all our supporters who have helped us to end 2015 on a high note!