Nationals WA pledge ‘largest ever’ State Government funding commitment for regional environmental projects
Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has promised to deliver the State Government’s “largest ever” funding commitment for regional environmental initiatives if her party is elected on March 13.
Ms Davies unveiled the Nationals’ $100 million plan in Albany on Friday, vowing to use Royalties for Regions over five years to fund conservation and environmental rehabilitation across country WA.
Under the scheme, the party would commit $45 million towards regional Natural Resource Management initiatives by investing an additional $1.8 million a year in regional NRM groups, increasing their annual funding to $9 million.
There are seven major community-run NRM groups across regional WA.
Ms Davies said competition for funding among NRM groups limited the amount they could do to preserve their local environment.
“NRMs are already leaders in regional land and coast care but the funding they receive is regularly oversubscribed, limiting the excellent work they do,” she said.
Oyster Harbour Catchment Group is one of the groups vying for funding each year.
In the past 18 months, they have planted more than 5000 seedlings along a Millbrook river to rehabilitate the land crippled by livestock grazing.
Group project officer Bruce Radys the organisation represented about 600 landholders covering about 3000sqm.
“Any boost to these funding programs will eventually lead to more projects being successful and more on-ground works being implemented,” Mr Radys said.
The Nationals WA have also vowed to create a Land and Sea Restoration Fund with a commitment of $55 million, aimed at significantly increasing carbon farming ventures.
The fund would be overseen by an independent board including climate researchers, Aboriginal groups, land care, and conservation representatives.
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