Bush policy push

THE Wilderness Society has given WA’s first ever draft native vegetation policy qualified support, but want more urgency and funding commitments from the McGowan government.

The society is holding a workshop at The Local Hotel in South Fremantle on Monday October 18 at 6.30pm to help people prepare submissions.

Wilderness Society WA campaigns manager Patrick Gardner said they would encourage supporters and members to demand that the state bring forward some of the policy’s recommendations.

“The primary feedback that we want the government to hear loud and clear is the need for many of these initiatives to be more quickly implemented,” Mr Gardner said.

“We want to see specific funding that is going to be allocated towards them.

Society community organiser Stephanie Poly said everyone had a right to be heard.

“It doesn’t matter if you are not a scientist,” Ms Poly said.

“It’s basically our democratic right to engage with these processes.

“Where our powers lie as individuals is within our community,” she said.

Some of the policy’s initiatives are not due to be implemented for 6 – 10 years, including monitoring and evaluation of native vegetation conditions in regional areas, and improved mapping of existing vegetation.

A discussion paper put out by the water and environment department says WA’s native vegetation provides a home to unique flora and fauna and also plays a vital role as a carbon sink for greenhouse gas emissions. It is also of great spiritual and cultural significance to Indigenous people.

by PALOMA SHIELD-NUNEZ

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