Creating environmentally sustainable communities, delivering healthier waterways and coastal areas and protecting biodiversity hotspots will be prioritised under a new $100 million environmental initiative announced by The Nationals WA.
Leader Mia Davies made the $100 million commitment – the largest ever for environmental initiatives in regional WA – in Albany today alongside local landcare and catchment groups.
“Caring for the environment is embedded in our regional communities and The Nationals are committed to supporting the groups and individuals that manage, restore and conserve our valuable land and water assets,” Ms Davies said.
“You can support the economy and help the environment by investing in job-creating projects that build more environmentally sustainable and resilient regional communities.”
Ms Davies said The Nationals would commit $100 million of Royalties for Regions over five years towards environmental initiatives across two funding streams if elected to Government at the 2021 State election.
“We will increase funding for regional NRM initiatives to $45 million, a $1.8 million boost to $9 million per year, to help organisations like South Coast NRM plan and implement projects that protect and enhance our environment,” Ms Davies said.
“Investing in our natural resources helps primary industry, tourism and other regional industries become more sustainable through managing biosecurity threats, enhancing our waterways and adapting to changes in the climate and trade markets.
“NRMs are already leaders in regional land and coast care but the funding they receive is regularly oversubscribed, limiting the excellent work they do.”
The Nationals WA will also invest $55 million to create a Land and Sea Restoration Fund (LSRF), which will significantly increase funding for carbon farming initiatives, support the creation of a blue carbon industry with the potential to create 3000 new regional jobs.
Nationals Deputy Leader and environment spokesperson Shane Love said the LSRF would be overseen by an independent board of climate researchers, land care, conservation, farmer and Aboriginal groups that offer unique insight and understanding into their regions.
“The LSRF will deliver job creating programs and projects located in the regions, linked to carbon sequestration and focused on improving land and sea environmental health,” he said.
“We’ll also continue to support the Carbon for Conservation initiative to allow the private sector to implement carbon farming in the State’s national parks and reserves.”