The Department of Conservation and Land Management’s widely anticipated draft Good Neighbour Policy has been launched today at the Perth Royal Show.
Speaking at the release, Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the policy had been almost two years in the making, as CALM undertook extensive consultation with key rural stakeholders.
“An important starting point is to recognise that CALM’s role is to manage the State’s parks, reserves and forests on behalf of the entire community,” Dr Edwards said.
“In that context, this draft policy formally states CALM’s aim to maintain good relations with all of its neighbours, and to set out the way in which the department deals with common cross-boundary issues.
“Representatives of the WA Farmers’ Federation, the Pastoralists’ and Graziers’ Association and the WA Local Government Association collaborated with CALM and the result is a draft document that is well thought out, responsible and should be well received by farmers and pastoralists alike.”
The Minister said the draft policy was open to public consultation. CALM would hold a series of forums in regional centres to further inform landholders and other stakeholders.
The policy covered a wide range of topics, from the construction and maintenance of fences, to fire management.
“The fire management section deals with the key areas of planning and capacity to deal with fires, prescribed burning to reduce fuel levels, firebreaks and access tracks and responding to wildfires,” Dr Edwards said.
“The draft policy also covers weed management on CALM-managed lands, for which priorities are set within each CALM region according to the State’s Environmental Weed Strategy.
“The control of introduced pest animals, straying stock on CALM-managed lands, native animals that affect primary production, and access to and activities on CALM-managed lands and waters also are addressed.
“Off-reserve conservation programs and activities, natural resource management, neighbour and community input to CALM planning and operations, communication and contact arrangements complete this comprehensive draft policy.
“CALM already has a number of on-the-ground projects already under way that will deliver benefits to its neighbours.
“The latest initiative is to increase the level of deployment of employees to areas of the State to undertake works such as feral animal and weed control, erosion control and land rehabilitation, as well as signage, fencing and rubbish clean-ups.
“These projects, together with other examples such as Western Shield and Land for Wildlife, represent and highlight the good work already under way.”
Dr Edwards said it was important for both CALM and CALM’s neighbours to have an improved understanding across a wide range of issues of mutual interest and importance in rural areas.
“The feedback CALM receives from the forums, stakeholders and individual landholders, and the subsequent discussion can only serve to strengthen and improve the directions outlined in the policy,” she said.
Minister's office: 9220 5050