Old 01-24-2012, 06:07 AM   #1
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Default Rents move shows contempt for pastoralists: PGA

Rents move shows contempt for pastoralists: PGA

24 Jan, 2012 02:00 AM

THE Pastoralists and Graziers Association has accused the Liberal National Government of continuing to show its contempt for the WA pastoral industry, following its decision to proceed with the third and final increase in pastoral rents.

“Thanks to continued inaction by State government, West Australian pastoralists are facing another round of draconian rental increases – this round contributing in some cases, to increases of up to 700% over three years – at a time when the industry is still recovering from the devastating decision by the Gillard Government to temporarily suspend cattle exports to Indonesia last year,” PGA president Rob Gillam said.

“Not only has the industry had the temporary closure of its most important market in the last 12months, it has also had to deal with dramatic increases in input costs, labour shortages, bushfires, droughts and then floods in the Gascoyne region and a host of other problems.”

“Pastoralists in Western Australia pay the highest lease rates in Australia, with many paying significantly more than comparable properties in Queensland and the Northern Territory and have less secure land tenure than any other state.” he said.

“Despite numerous pleas from the PGA and individual pastoralists, the Department of Regional Development and Lands have recommended to the Treasurer to implement this final instalment, which will be the final nail in the coffin for many producers.”

“Rents for pastoral leases will next be reviewed in 2014 and there is nothing to suggest that increases in lease rents of a similar magnitude may not be implemented,” Mr Gillam said.

“The Premier needs to urgently step in and address these unsustainable and inequitable pastoral lease rent increases and implement a fair and just system to determine rents.“

“It is time that the Liberal National Government realise that there is another industry in the regions besides mining and begin to listen to the families and communities that are being destroyed by their inaction.”

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