- Three million hectares of unallocated Crown land released for carbon farming
- Will facilitate private investment to support innovative carbon farming opportunities
- Builds on the McGowan Government's Carbon for Conservation initiative
More than three million hectares of land will be made available for carbon farming to aid climate change mitigation, improve biodiversity and create green jobs under a new initiative by the McGowan Government.
The McGowan Government will release areas of unallocated Crown land currently managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) for consideration of in-demand carbon farming projects.
Building on the Carbon for Conservation project, this initiative will provide opportunities for the private sector to partner with the State Government and traditional owners to create large scale carbon farming projects to help Western Australia achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
With the price of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) expected to increase significantly by 2030, areas of WA's crown land estate are highly sought after for carbon farming initiatives.
Traditional owners will be integral to this initiative and will be involved in the consultation and engagement process, with projects only going ahead with their consent.
Viable projects will deliver job opportunities in regional and remote areas, including on country for traditional owners. They will also enhance conservation values through increased management of feral animals, weeds and fire.
Proposed carbon farming areas will be able to take advantage of the new flexible form of land tenure known as a 'diversification lease', which allows non-exclusive possession to enable multiple uses of land. Exploration for minerals and petroleum is still able to occur over areas in the proposed three million hectares. Current existing and pending mining leases and petroleum production licences (and associated tenure) will be excluded from the carbon farming areas.
The State Government will be inviting high-level carbon farming concept proposals in 2022.
Comments attributed to Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"Western Australia is blessed with an abundance of land that can be utilised for carbon farming projects.
"This initiative will encourage and support on-ground solutions that contribute to offsetting carbon emissions through new investment in conservation and land management actions, particularly in our rangelands.
"It will help our State achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While emissions reduction is our priority, we recognise the need for offsets in hard to abate industries."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson:
"This is a fantastic initiative that will promote new job opportunities for traditional owners on country as well as addressing the challenge of climate change.
"Building on the Carbon for Conservation initiative, traditional owners will be able to lead projects and contribute to the restoration and protection of country across a large swathe of unallocated crown land.
"Projects will only proceed following consultation, engagement and consent from traditional owners who will be essential to the process.
"McGowan Government initiatives such as this one reflect our ongoing commitment to Closing the Gap, in particular to socio-economic targets that ensure strong economic participation and development.
"The McGowan Government is absolutely committed to supporting Aboriginal employment and business aspirations and will continue to find innovative ways to boost participation and success in employment and business."
Comments attributed to Lands Minister Tony Buti:
"Our vast expanses of remote Crown Land represent one of the biggest and most underutilised levers available to meet our net zero target.
"As the world transitions to a green economy, a key part of our work is to ensure this land can be diversified and harnessed to address current and future challenges.
"This, and other sustainable initiatives such as renewable energy on Crown Land, will all be made possible through our upcoming changes to the Land Administration Act
Environment and Climate Action Minister's office - 6552 5900
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5800
Lands Minister's office - 6552 6400