Carbon Farming on Pastoral Lease Lands - Consultation

Page last updated: Friday, 27 September 2019 - 10:00am

Pastoralists in the Southern Rangelands of Western Australia (WA) form a pilot of 43 Human Induced Regeneration (HIR) carbon farming projects. The State has been considering a range of policy matters related to granting its eligible interest holder consent for these projects. Of particular focus has been the interaction of carbon farming projects and the resources sector.

Stakeholders are invited to make submissions related to the interaction between the resource and pastoral sectors by COB Wednesday 2 October 2019. 

HIR projects on pastoral lease lands

In-principle support was given by the Minister for Lands in 2018 for eligible carbon farming projects to register with the Clean Energy Regulator and take part in the Commonwealth’s 7th and 8th Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) reverse auctions. 

The criteria for eligible projects to gain in-principle support were that the project:

  • is conducted on an existing pastoral lease, having a term of at least 25 years;
  • proponent is the pastoral lessee and not a third party;
  • will use grazing management techniques and the human-induced regeneration methodology is applied; and
  • permanence period is 25 years.

Projects need to meet all relevant WA and Commonwealth Government legislative requirements including consistency with the terms of the pastoral lease and native title obligations. 

Of the 43 pastoral lessees who successfully competed in the ERF auctions, 39 have entered into conditional contracts (as at September 2019). The Clean Energy Regulator requires all eligible interest holders to provide consent for a carbon farm to take place on the land, including native title and mortgage holders, prior to it finalising carbon offset contracts. Provision of in-principle support by the WA Government for the use of pastoral lease (Crown) land does not amount to it providing eligible interest holder consent.

For more detailed information see the Human-Induced Regeneration Carbon Farming and the Resources Sector 2019 position paper (a PDF download) and web links on this page.

Resource and Pastoral Sector Interactions

The interaction between pastoral and resource sector activities is the focus of consultation.

In 2017/18, the resources sector in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Goldfields regions, was valued at more than $15 billion, contributing extensively to the economy
through royalties and employment. These regions are also prospective for future gold, nickel, base metals, iron ore and petroleum (gas) operations.

Carbon farming provides an opportunity to increase the economic value of the State’s natural assets and the resilience of the agricultural industry, facilitate economic diversification, and create job opportunities contributing positively to the State’s ongoing prosperity. Additional benefits include improved quality of land and water, increased biodiversity, and more effective control of feral animals and weeds.  

The WA Government is committed to working constructively with the resources sector and pastoralists in order to maximise economic efficiency, protect the fragile environment of the Southern Rangelands and for pastoralists to access a revenue stream that can be utilised for land rehabilitation.

Land Use Map

The Department has created a GIS application for the public to view a detailed interactive map showing the intersections between pastoral leases, HIR projects, mining activities, conservation parks, local government areas and other land uses. Data is drawn from a variety of sources and updated as the originating database changes.  

Consultation Submissions

Stakeholders are invited to make submissions related to the interaction between the resources and pastoral sectors through their peak body reprentatives or by emailing the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development on hir@dpird.wa.gov.au by COB Wednesday 2 October 2019.