An advisory committee is set to guide the re-establishment of the Soil and Land Conservation Council with The University of Western Australia research fellow Associate Professor Frances Hoyle to serve as deputy chairperson. Better soil health helps to boost agricultural and pastoral production and create job opportunities across regional Western Australia.
The McGowan Government is set to resurrect the defunct Soil and Land Conservation Council to drive regenerative land practices across the State.
On World Soil Day (5 December) Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the formation of a Ministerial Advisory Committee 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.
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.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development soil scientist Tim Overheu will chair the advisory committee, and UWA’s research fellow Associate Professor Frances Hoyle will 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.