The Western Australian Government is inviting investors and community members to provide feedback on the state government’s land tenure policy for irrigated agricultural projects.

The government will be holding a series of information sessions about the policy with the first sessions being held in Broome, Derby, Port Hedland, Newman and Gascoyne Junction in November. Other venues, including the Goldfields, will expected be announced in early 2016.

The information sessions are part of State Government’s $40million Water for Food project.

Representatives from the departments of Lands and Water will be at the forums to provide detailed information to project proponents regarding current water investigations.

They will also discuss requirements to convert a portion of a pastoral lease or other Crown land to a higher and more secure tenure as part of the Land Tenure Pathway for Irrigated Agriculture (LTPIA) project.

The LTPIA is a key component of the $40million ‘Royalties for Regions-funded Water for Food’ initiative.

Lands Minister, Terry Redman, said securing higher land tenure such as long term leasehold or freehold was a critical part of achieving irrigated agricultural development, which in turn would support more sustainable economic development across the state’s rangelands.

“Providing project proponents with the tools to increase opportunities to attract investment and allow diversification of land use, will continue to unlock the potential of Crown land in WA,” Mr Redman said.

WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, said water availability, research and land tenure were vital for the expansion of irrigated agriculture in WA’s Rangelands.

“Ideally, a pastoral lease of the future will not only run stock, but contain commercial-scale irrigation islands where a diverse range of cash crops and high value food products can be grown, alongside fodder. The Water for Food land tenure project brings that objective within reach, especially in places such as the Kimberley and the Pilbara,” Ms Davies said.

Jessica Dickers

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