McGowan Government’s rental phase-in to help WA pastoralists
- New pastoral rents will come into effect on July 1, 2019
- Rents are determined by the independent Valuer-General and are based on current land values and economic state of industry of which the Government plays no role
- Government plan to assist with financial planning for pastoralists
Lands Minister Ben Wyatt has announced that the McGowan Government will provide assistance to the pastoral industry by phasing in new rents for Western Australian pastoral leases over the next three years.
Western Australia's pastoral rents are independently determined every five years by the Valuer-General in accordance with the Land Administration Act 1997. Rent determinations are based on current land values and the economic state of the pastoral industry.
The Valuer-General has determined that most pastoralists in the State's north will incur a rent increase while pastoralists in other areas of the State will experience moderate or no increase, and in some cases a rent reduction.
In order to assist pastoralists and ease the pressure of any increases, the McGowan Government will ensure that rent increases will be staged in over a three-year period to allow pastoralists to take account of the rent increase in their forward financial planning. Increases will be capped at 20 per cent in 2019-20 and 2020-21, with the balance applied in 2021-22.
Revenue from the increased rents will be used to assist in delivering better economic, social and environmental outcomes on Western Australia's pastoral estate.
The Pastoral Lands Board is also working closely with the departments of Planning, Lands and Heritage; and Primary Industries and Regional Development, to identify properties which may require additional support and advice to better manage livestock and business decisions.
For more information, visit http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/plb
Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt:
"The Valuer-General has the statutory authority to set the rents for pastoral leases independently, this is not something as Minister I am able to interfere in.
"This is an imperfect process which has been inherited but one that I am reviewing. Unfortunately, my influence over this issue is limited.
"I understand the challenges pastoralists in many parts of the State face, particularly with changing seasonal conditions, and am frustrated that the legislated process that determines rent every five years means that those operating pastoral leases are given little notice about the rent increases.
"That is why the McGowan Government have acted quickly to ensure that new rents are phased in over a period of three years, with the first two years capping the increases to just 20 per cent of the existing rental rates. The rental phase-in will help pastoralists plan for the financial impact of a rent increase on their enterprise.
"While the rent for some pastoral leases will rise as a result of this year's review, the main financial impact is expected to be in the State's north. This reflects strong land values over the past three to five years and indicates that there is a growing level of demand for WA's cattle locally and internationally and a big future for the pastoral industry.
"In other parts of the State, such as the Southern Rangelands, there will be little or no change.
"The State Government is committed to ensuring the long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability of Western Australia's pastoral lands estate."