WA Rangeland Reform – Our Outback Our Country

Published 15 Apr 2016 
about  Eurardy Reserve Charles Darwin Reserve  

The WA government has recently drafted amendments to the Land Administration Act 1991 (LAA) which it is hoped will see improved management and investment in the Rangelands of Western Australia. The Western Australian Rangelands make up 87% of the State and this current reform program offers an historic opportunity to better support a sustainable, diverse and populated future in Outback of Australia.

The purpose of the draft Bill is to provide the legislative basis for reforms and tenure mechanisms to allow the economic, social and environmental value of the Western Australian Rangelands to be developed for the benefit of all Western Australians.

The draft Bill will enable greater diversity in land uses and more secure tenure, helping to maximise the value of the Rangelands to the benefit of businesses, communities, and the State. The expected outcomes of the changes to the LAA are greater investment in the pastoral industry, attraction of new industries into the Rangelands, stronger communities, greater Aboriginal economic participation, and better management of the rangeland asset.

One key proposed change in the Draft Bill is the provision for the grant of a rangelands lease that will allow for multiple and varied uses of the rangelands, provided that the use is broad scale and consistent with the preservation and ongoing management of the rangelands as a resource. This proposed change meets the increasing demand for a suitable tenure to support more diverse activities in the Rangelands. A Rangelands lease will create new economic and social opportunities and enable the development of business models that are more sustainable over the longer term. A rangelands lease would also provide greater security with regards to Bush Heritage's ongoing conservation investments, and provide greater confidence for growth.

Bush Heritage currently holds three pastoral leases in Western Australia – Charles Darwin Reserve, Eurardy Reserve and Hamelin Station – totalling just over 300,000 hectares.

Through the WA 'Partnership for the Outback', Bush Heritage Australia is working with other non-government organisations (including PEW, Conservation Council and Wildflower Society) to ensure that proposed changes accurately reflect the need for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Partnership for the Outback is working with pastoralists, Aboriginal groups, tourism operators and other stakeholders to 'help create a modern outback that sustains people and values nature'.

Bush Heritage has a key interest in increasing and improving conservation and Aboriginal land management opportunities in the rangelands. We believe the opportunity for a diverse Outback that hosts conservation, Aboriginal land and cultural management, tourism and agricultural activity will ensure the Outback remains a vibrant and special part of not only our country but the world.

I've contributed on behalf of Bush Heritage to the short video above, which broadly outlines what the WA Outback campaign is about.

For more information on the Land Administration Amendment Bill 2016 visit: