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State Government to unlock land for renewable energy and economic diversification


Millions of hectares of unused State Government-owned land could soon be made available for economic diversification projects.


Lands Minister Tony Buti today announced proposed changes to Western Australia's Land Administration Act to introduce a new, more flexible form of land tenure for unallocated Crown land and pastoral land.


The changes mean WA will be better placed to leverage opportunities in the rapidly-growing renewable energy sector which requires large areas of land for operations like carbon farming, wind farms, solar energy and hydrogen .


It also responds to calls from pastoralists looking to diversify activities on all, or part, of their estate.


The new, non-exclusive tenure could also help open large areas of land for conservation organisations to preserve or rehabilitate biodiversity, or Native Title holders looking to undertake economic development activities such as cultural tourism.


The proposed amendments are part of a package of reforms to management of unallocated Crown land and pastoral land, which includes:


  • changes to how pastoral rents are determined;

  • cutting red tape and streamlining tenure approvals; and

  • a new form of non-exclusive tenure to facilitate diversified uses.


The majority of the amendments proposed under Pastoral Lands Reform are part of the overall package.


The proposed changes to the Land Administration Act also build on other initiatives announced as part of the McGowan Government's $750 million Climate Action Fund.


Comments attributed to Lands Minister Tony Buti:


"These changes will help Western Australia harness emerging opportunities in the renewable energy sector, as well as empowering Native Title holders who are pursuing economic development.


"Global demand for clean energy is increasing and Western Australia will be better placed to capitalise on this demand under these updated land tenure rules.


"Under these changes to the Land Administration Act we can establish a diversified and resilient economy, create new long-term job opportunities, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels to power remote communities.


"Importantly we can also give Aboriginal groups a real opportunity for economic development on their traditional lands."


Comments attributed to Regional Development and Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


"This package will expand on our commitment to deliver Pastoral Lands Reform, helping to improve land condition across the pastoral estate while supporting diversification opportunities for pastoralists.


"Importantly, it will also smooth the pathway for large-scale renewable energy projects right across the State.


"While the State Government is already facilitating access to land for renewable hydrogen projects, these changes will provide new long-term tenure options for proponents."


Comments attributed to Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:


"Greenhouse gas abatement measures such as carbon farming and renewable energy will be crucial in the transition to net zero.


"These changes pave the way for increased opportunities in these growing sectors, while helping open up large areas of land for biodiversity preservation and rehabilitation as well as opportunities for traditional owners."


Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:


"The McGowan Government is committed to progressing our plans for a low-carbon economy as well as developing new industries that are integral to the economic diversification of the State.


"Investment in industries such as renewable hydrogen, carbon farming and renewable energy projects will create more WA jobs and place our State at the forefront of the rapidly growing renewable energy sector."


Reference:

https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2021/11/State-Government-to-unlock-land-for-renewable-energy-and-economic-diversification.aspx

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