The State Government has acted to help pastoralists affected by abnormally dry seasonal conditions by waiving pastoral lease and vermin rates.
Primary Industry Minister Monty House and Lands Minister George Cash today encouraged pastoralists to apply to gain exemption from paying pastoral lease rents and Agriculture Protection Board vermin rates until June 30, 1995.
The assistance would be available to all eligible pastoralists in the southern pastoral zone including, Meekatharra, Murchison, Upper Gascoyne and East Pilbara.
The move follows recent visits to the pastoral areas by Mr House and Mr Cash and meetings with pastoralists who have been forced to cut stock numbers due to adverse seasonal conditions.
"The assistance measures are designed to help pastoralists survive the exceptionally dry and difficult circumstances, when they have no immediate opportunities for diversifying their operations," Mr House said.
"The Government recognises the important contribution cattle and sheep stations make to the State's economy and the need to take a long-term view of their operations."
Mr Cash said about 40 cattle and 80 sheep properties would be able to apply for the package.
To qualify, the pastoralist would have to be the principal leaseholder and normally reside on the station.
The property must have suffered exceptionally low effective rainfall and pasture growth in the current season and at least one of the preceding two seasons.
The Department of Agriculture would determine the number of properties meeting these criteria, based on information from satellite imagery and surveying of the rangelands, rainfall records, and comparison of soil water balance using a CSIRO model of rainfall and temperature data.
If applicants were eligible for a pastoral lease waiver, they automatically qualified for the APB vermin rate exemption.
Pastoralists interested in applying should contact Garry Crow at the Pastoral Board Tel: (09) 273 7301 Fax: (09) 273 7684.
Media contact: Will Henwood 222 9595