- McGowan Government lends support to pastoralists to examine carbon potential and regenerate pastoral land
The McGowan Government has provided in-principle backing for Western Australian pastoralists wanting to unlock the carbon potential of their lands.
The State will back a number of pilot sequestration offset projects by pastoralists, which focus on grazing strategies that increase regeneration of native vegetation and in the process extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
These projects not only sequester carbon, but will aid the regeneration of the pastoral lands.
Projects will also need to meet a range of eligibility criteria and relevant State and Commonwealth legislative requirements, including consistency with the terms of the pastoral lease and impacts on mining.
In-principle support for eligible projects will allow pastoralists to register under the Commonwealth's $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund, and the option to take part in its upcoming reverse auction.
The State will then consider eligible projects over the next 12 months, after which a final determination will be made on the provision of interest holder consent, which is required under the Emissions Reduction Fund.
For more details, including the eligibility criteria, visit http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/carbonfarmingpotential
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Leading pastoralists across WA have been developing new ways to manage grazing to improve pastoral land condition and vegetation.
"WA pastoralists have missed out in the past because of State Government inaction; Queensland and New South Wales have received more than $800 million in carbon farming credits, and it's time WA had its fair share.
"Supporting carbon farming is critical to the Government's pastoral lands reform process and will help pastoralists to diversify their activities, improve pastoral condition and support regional jobs."
Comments attributed to Lands Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The State Government will consider suitable pilot projects put forward by pastoral lessees, including a requirement of carbon being locked up for at least 25 years by improving grazing management.
"Following the 12-month consideration phase, the Government will then make a final decision on whether to provide consent to the identified pilot projects.
"This is a new approach which is complex, so this initial pilot work will provide an opportunity to more thoroughly assess the potential for broader carbon farming opportunities."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"I am happy to support these pilot programs that will sequester carbon from the atmosphere, help regenerate pastoral lands and protect the environment for future generations.
"This carbon farming plan provides a real prospect for depleted pastoral lands to be restored in an environmentally-sustainable way."
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Lands Minister's office - 6552 5500
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800