Embattled southern rangelands pastoralists have been thrown a lifeline after a landmark decision by the McGowan Government to enable carbon farming
By Zac Relph, The West Australian, 19 December 2018.
WA pastoralists have secured a major stake in the latest round of the Federal Government’s $2.55 billion fund to underpin the nation’s carbon farming opportunity, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the awarded contracts.
Twenty pastoral leases across the State emerged as successful bidders in the Emissions Reduction Fund’s eighth auction round, announced by the Clean Energy Regulator on Monday, claiming $12.8 million in total over the next decade.
This morning I sat down with a cuppa to read a fantastic story in the West Weekend magazine about Frances Pollock from Wooleen Station.
Pick up a copy of the West Weekend today, read the story online here - or watch the video below to hear from Frances and see a glimpse of Wooleen Station.Read more
Two Pilbara pastoralists rode horses to the heart of Perth to deliver an Outback petition with 7000 signatures! What a powerful statement demonstrating just how much Western Australians care about the people, nature and future of our Outback.
Thank you to all who signed the petition or helped organise the event. Enjoy the photos!Read more
By Evan Pensini, The West Australian, 7 March 2018, p22
This year is do or die for WA’s outback rangelands.
We almost lost Schools of the Air but we face another pressing challenge. A Statewide audit has found the health of the pastoral lands has been in free-fall for decades, so will the Government deliver lasting reform and usher in a new era of opportunity for our outback regions?
Our youngest son has departed for the city to complete high school. For my wife and me, it marks the end of 20 years of educating four boys at home through Port Hedland School of the Air. Each child’s departure is a loss of part of our world, difficult to explain to those not accustomed to living in remote places. Our home on Cheela Plains, a pastoral station near Paraburdoo, is a place we chose out of love for the life, land and livestock.Read more
By Rueben Hale, The West Regional Lifestyle, summer 2017.
Luke Bayley has devoted his life to restoring country under threat from irreversible degradation. The Bayley family were willing to travel from the other side of the country to restore a precious part of the WA Outback.
Mr Bayley thinks back to the feeling he had the first time he stood on a rocky outcrop at Charles Darwin Reserve near Perenjori.
A little over five years ago he was sent with his wife Fiona and children Tanami and Banjo to rejuvenate the lands of the reserve which had suffered from years of environmental neglect.Read more
By Victoria Laurie, The Australian, 13 October 2017.
Pastoral leases covering one third of Western Australia are in decline and the system supposed to improve degraded lands is failing, according to a blistering report by the state’s Auditor-General Colin Murphy.
He said monitoring 507 leases — covering 90 million hectares, an area bigger than Western Europe — had declined from 15 per cent of all leases each year to only 3 per cent since 2009, meaning it will take more than 20 years to inspect each lease.
This is despite attempts to bring the state’s pastoral estate under uniform control in 2015, when all WA pastoral leases were cancelled on the same date and all but two leases renewed.
The extent of eroded and degraded cattle country featured in a 2012 government report, which found that sustainable leases made up only 19 per cent of Pilbara leases, 26 per cent of leases in the Southern Rangelands, and 65 per cent of Kimberley leases.
In his latest report tabled in parliament, the Auditor-General found that pastoral land was not adequately protected by the current system of land monitoring and administration.
Mr Murphy said pastoral land had been under threat for more than 75 years but efforts had been limited in ensuring long-term productivity or halting the decline in condition.Read more
“The landscape, it sort of draws you in and gets in your blood I suppose. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” – Robin Pensini, Cheela Plains Station
Robin's story of life on the land in a remote part of WA's Outback features in today's West Weekend magazine. Read the full story online here.
You can also read more about Evan and Robin, and their support for pastoral law reform in WA, in this story from last year.Read more
By Rueben Hale, The Countryman, 15 June 2017, p8.
Rangelands reform is back on the State Government agenda after WA Lands Minister Rita Saffioti committed to restarting the process.
Ms Saffioti said last week she intended to consult with industry and the community over the next six to 12 months before starting renewed negotiations on the issue.Read more
Opinion by Kent Broad, published in The West Australian, 31 January 2017.
Last month a peer-reviewed study revealed that carbon farming could provide a new billion-dollar industry for WA and help rejuvenate land suffering from more than 80 years of intensive grazing in the Mid West and southern rangelands.
Carbon farming is managing soil, vegetation, water and animals to increase carbon storage. The report found that WA was in the unique position of being able offer millions of hectares of depleted lands for revegetation and the restoration of grasslands.Read more