Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Locals praised for co-ordinated efforts in NRM

    1/08/2005 12:00 AM

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, the Mid-West and Wheatbelt, Tony McRae, today said local expertise was vital to protect Esperance’s natural resources and environment from the many challenges facing it.

    On a visit to the Lake Warden System, Mr McRae saw first-hand the results of efforts by farmers and local actions groups and State and Federal Governments on protecting these important regional wetlands that are listed under an international wetland convention.

    As well, Mr McRae acknowledged the practical steps being taken, including the adoption of more sustainable farming systems that had both environmental and economic outcomes.

    “The success here shows what can be done,” he said.

    “The Department of Agriculture, Department of Conservation and Land Management, local government, farmers, interested people and other agencies have all worked together for this outcome.

    “In the sandplain, there is good potential for perennial pastures and for timber and other wood products.

    “Where suitable water supplies can be found there are opportunities for viticulture, some other horticultural crops and possibly intensive animal industries.”

    Mr McRae praised members of the South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team (SCRIPT) on their efforts in Esperance and reaffirmed the State Government’s commitment to Natural Resource Management.

    “Agriculture Minister Kim Chance recently announced State Government funding of $1.25million to the six regional NRM groups across Western Australia,” he said.

    “The Minister last month appointed a consultant to work with regional groups to ensure the investment into our natural resources achieves the best possible results.

    “The key to that is getting people involved who understand their area and the issues that are important in their region.

    “The efforts of SCRIPT show we are going to get positive results and local knowledge is our most effective weapon.”

    Mr McRae said the region faced major challenges, with issues including salinity, waterlogging and wind erosion.

    “While the challenges are not to be underestimated the response is encouraging and well co-ordinated,” he said.

    “The State Government will continue to work closely with local people to protect and enhance WA’s unique environment.”

    Minister's office: 9213 6700