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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1687 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 October 2018 by Hon Robin Chapple

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment representing the Minister for Lands
Minister responding: Hon A. MacTiernan
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Tabled Paper No: 2172- View tabled paper

In relation to the Government’s support for carbon sequestration projects on Western Australia’s pastoral leases, I ask:
(a) which carbon sequestration project methods approved under the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund fall within the definition of ‘pastoral purposes’ as outlined under Western Australia’s Land Administration Act 1997;
(b) when does the Government expect it will be in a position to start providing eligible interest holder consent for carbon sequestration projects on pastoral leases;
(c) is the Government considering providing consent for all carbon sequestration projects that have been provisionally registered with the Emissions Reduction Fund, or only those projects that have been successful in securing contracts to supply carbon credits to the Federal Government;
(d) is the Government aware that by 1 July 2019, over 20 per cent of Western Australian pastoral leases will have terms that are less than 25 years, and that consequently under current legislation, pastoralists and other leaseholders will be unable to register a carbon sequestration project because they require tenure of at least 25 years duration;
(e) what are the names of the pastoral leases and the regions in which they are situated that, at 1 July 2019, will have 25 years or less of their terms left to run;
(f) of the leases listed in (e), how many are Aboriginal-owned;
(g) will the Government provide for leaseholders to undertake carbon sequestration projects of a duration of 100 years which is the internationally accepted and compliant standard; and
(h) if yes to (g), what tenure will provide for such projects?

Answered on 8 November 2018

(a) To date, the State of Western Australia has only formally considered the approved Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest method, in terms of consistency with ‘pastoral purposes’ as defined within Part 7 of the Land Administration Act 1997. However, as the methodology varies for each project, the State would ascertain whether a particular Human Induced Regeneration project is consistent with ‘pastoral purposes’ on a case by case basis.

(b) The State Government is working to finalise its policy in regards to the pilot sequestration projects in Western Australia.

(c) In April 2018, the State provided in-principle support for a specific set of pilot sequestration offset projects where the project is conducted on an existing pastoral lease, using the Human Induced Regeneration project methodology, with a permanence period of 25 years and where the project proponent is the pastoral lessee, not a third party.

(d) Yes

(e) [See tabled paper no.]

(f) 8

(g) The State is currently considering pilot sequestration projects which align with the pastoral lease terms. As section 105(1) of the Land Administration Act 1997 currently provides that pastoral leases may not exceed 50 years, consideration is currently focussed on the projects with 25 year permanence periods rather than 100 year periods.

(h) Not applicable