The WA Government is set to resurrect the defunct Soil and Land Conservation Council to drive regenerative land practice across the State.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the move reflected the need to develop a greater understanding of how to manage WA’s fragile soils.
The Soil and Land Conservation Council is a statutory body, under the Soil and Land Conservation Act 1945, which helps to co-ordinate, monitor and review land use, soil and conservation policies and programs – but it hasn’t met in nearly 15 years.
“If we are serious about growing our agricultural and pastoral production, we need to get the basics right; report after report is telling us that land degradation is acting as a major handbrake to our primary industries,” Minister MacTiernan said.
“Both the quantity and quality of what we produce is dependent on the biology of our soils.
“We need our policies and programs in soil revitalisation to be based on rigorous scientific research, and the Soil and Land Conservation Council can provide the bedrock of knowledge to drive a real improvement in our soils and agricultural productivity.”
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development soil scientist, Tim Overheu, will chair the advisory committee. The University of Western Australia research fellow Associate Professor Frances Hoyle will be deputy chair.