EXTENDED lease times from 42 years up to 100 years, and the associated certainty in planning ahead and investments, are among the changes included in the draft Pastoral Lands Bill, which was released for public consultation today.
A major review of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 began last year after industry recognised it had become outdated.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the draft legislation was aimed at supporting the continued economic growth of the state's pastoral industry, while ensuring the sustainable conservation of the rangelands for future generations.
"SAs pastoral rangelands are a critical economic driver and cover over 40 per cent of the state with 323 individual pastoral leases," he said.
"Given the importance of this draft legislation, we have undertaken significant consultation with pastoralists and key stakeholders, with more than 250 submissions received following the release of an initial discussion paper."
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He said the government was looking to boost livestock activities on pastoral lands, while modernising the Act to incorporate a number of initiatives, such as recognising the benefits of technology in the vast lands.
"Feedback from stakeholders showed clear demand and support for greater flexibility under the Bill to allow appropriate alternative land-uses which are complimentary to pastoralism and would boost enterprise profitability," he said.
"This will ensure our pastoralists are to diversify, better manage income and seasonal variability."
Mr Basham said the new draft Bill continued to acknowledge the importance of the region to Aboriginal culture.
Among the proposed amendments are allowing the pastoral business to diversify with alternative land uses where appropriate, greater accountability and clarity of roles for government, lessees and the Pastoral Board, 10-year assessments, greater geographical definition of public access routes and stronger compliance tools and penalties for misuse of the land.
The six-week consultation closes on October 11 with the revised Act to be introduced to Parliament in 2021.
View the draft at.pir.sa.gov.au/pastoralactreview while feedback can be given through yourSAy.sa.gov.au
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