Esperance farmers have called on the State Government to review land clearing legislation to provide greater clarity about what they can clear on their properties without the threat of prosecution.
About 150 farmers attended a meeting organised by Eyre MLA Graham Jacobs in Esperance on Tuesday to air their concerns about the current “dysfunctional” relationship they said existed with the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Dr Jacobs said there was confusion between clearing re-growth or native vegetation.
Gibson farmer Nils Blumann called on Environment Minister Bill Marmion, who attended the meeting, to review regulations with particular emphasis on clearing of native vegetation on freehold land used for broadacre farming. “The regulations are a problem when determining what is good land and what is bad land,” Mr Blumann said.
“Deep sand is bad land, but with modern farming technology you can convert that bad land, of which we’ve got a super abundance in Esperance, into productive farm land,” he said.
Cascades farmer Mark Scott called on the State Government to provide compensation for farmers who had to maintain native vegetation stands, such as weed management, which provided no additional benefit for their commercial operations.