WA to reinstate Soil and Land Conservation Council

The WA Government has announced it will resurrect the defunct Soil and Land Conservation Council to drive regenerative land practices across the State.

The 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 has not met since 2003.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said a Ministerial Advisory Committee will be formed to guide re-establishment of the Soil and Land Conservation Council, acknowledging that greater understanding is needed of how to manage Western Australia's fragile soils.

She said over the next 18 months, the Advisory Committee will develop recommendations on the modern functions for the Soil and Land Conservation Council while working on strategies to address soil health issues in WA.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development soil scientist Tim Overheu will chair the advisory committee, with The University of Western Australia research fellow Associate Professor Frances Hoyle to serve as deputy chairperson.

Other committee members will include leading scientists and representatives from the pastoral and agricultural industries and natural resource management groups.

Land degradation is estimated to cost WA's agricultural production sector more than $2 billion each year.

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