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WA Lands Minister, Tony Buti. Source: Tony Buti/Facebook
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  • The Western Australian government is set to unlock millions of hectares of Crown land for renewable energy and economic diversification projects
  • Proposed changes to WA’s land tenure laws could make Crown land — land owned by the State Government — available for what will be called “economic diversification projects”
  • These projects will focus on renewable energy like carbon farming, wind farms, solar energy and hydrogen production, and will co-exist on land under pastoral lease
  • Today’s news comes not long after Fortescue Metals (FMG) boss Andrew Forrest said his first hydrogen investment would be based in Queensland because of WA’s red tape
  • WA Lands Minister Tony Buti says the new laws are another step for WA in its transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Western Australian government is set to unlock millions of hectares of Crown land for renewable energy and economic diversification projects.

Proposed changes to WA’s land tenure laws would make Crown land — land owned by the State Government — available for what will be called “economic diversification projects”.

The new legislation would allow unallocated Crown land and land under pastoral lease to be also granted a diversification lease for renewable energy projects like carbon farming, wind farms, solar energy and hydrogen production.

According to WA Lands Minister Tony Buti, the changes to the tenure laws are a response to calls from pastoralists who are looking to diversify activities on part or all of their estate.

“These changes will help Western Australia harness emerging opportunities in the renewable energy sector, as well as empowering Native Title holders who are pursuing economic development,” Mr Buti said.

“Global demand for clean energy is increasing and Western Australia will be better placed to capitalise on this demand under these updated land tenure rules.

“Under these changes to the Land Administration Act we can establish a diversified and resilient economy, create new long-term job opportunities, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels to power remote communities.”

The proposed land tenure law amendments are part of a package of potential reforms to the management of unallocated Crown land and pastoral land, according to a statement from the WA government.

Other proposed changes will amend the way pastoral rents are determined, slash some of the red tape around tenure approvals, and develop a new form of non-exclusive tenure to facilitate diverse projects to co-exist with other land activities.

Today’s news comes not long after Fortescue Metals (FMG) boss Andrew Forrest said his first hydrogen investment would be based in Queensland because WA’s tenure red tape was too restrictive.

Mr Buti said the new laws were another step for WA in its transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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