Function of the Commissioner
A key function of the Commissioner of Soil and Land Conservation (the Commissioner) is preventing and mitigating land degradation, including erosion, salinity, flooding, eutrophication and loss of vegetation. This function includes responding to situations where management threatens or causes land degradation, as well as compliance with with the Act and Regulations.
Members of the public can report land degradation or drainage believed to have been carried out in breach of the Act or regulations, by contacting any office of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development or the Office of the Commissioner on +61 (0)8 9368 3282. All complaints will be treated as confidential.
The Commissioner's response to complaints
The Commissioner promotes compliance with the Act, which is consistent with the department’s compliance, enforcement and prosecution policy.
Upon receival of a complaint, the Commissioner:
- registers the complaint
- confirms the validity of the complaint
- contacts the owner or manager of the property that is the source of the condition resulting in a valid complaint
- provides instructions and/or advice to assist the landowner to remedy the identified condition.
Failing to carry out remedial work may result in the Commissioner issuing a soil conservation notice.
Where there are breaches of the regulations
The Commissioner may:
- issue a warning letter where the matter is minor
- issue a soil conservation notice, usually after due warning
- prosecute, where a prima facie case exists and it is in the public interest.