West Kimberley pastoralists are meeting this week to discuss a new assessment approach and draft land condition standards that have been developed to support sustainable management of the rangelands.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Fisheries and Agricultural Resource Management Executive Director Rick Fletcher said the new approach aimed to improve overall land condition to support strong pastoral businesses, community wellbeing and biodiversity conservation.
The reforms are part of the WA Government’s response to an Office of the Auditor General report in 2017 that found the ecological sustainability of the WA pastoral estate was not adequately protected by the current system of monitoring and administration.
“DPIRD and the Commissioner of Soil and Land Conservation are working to improve pastoral land condition for a sustainable pastoral industry and the community it supports,” Dr Fletcher said.
“DPIRD developed the Framework for Sustainable Pastoral Management, in partnership with both inter-agency and industry working groups.
“The Framework lays out a contemporary, risk-based approach for natural resource management using internationally accepted best practice principles which includes having clear standards for assessing management outcomes.”
The West Kimberley is the first region of the State to have quantitative land condition standards for its key pastures developed.
Land condition standards will be progressively developed for all other regions across the State’s pastoral estate.
“The Framework and its associated land condition standards for the West Kimberley offer a clearer and more consistent process for rangelands monitoring and assessment,” Dr Fletcher said.
“It clearly sets out the basis for how we will complete future assessments that will enable more consistent and objective lease and station level assessments of land condition.
“These quantitative land condition standards provide a clear description of what is and is not acceptable land condition for key pastures in the West Kimberley, and how land management practices could affect risk levels.”
DPIRD is holding meetings in Derby (14 November) and Fitzroy Crossing (15 November).
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, DPIRD media liaison (08) 9368 3937