By Gary Warner
Liberal Party candidate for Durack, Melissa Price, says she will lobby for changes to the State Government’s new approach to pastoral leases.
In another sign of an emerging rift between the long-time coalition partners, Ms Price described the proposed changes, introduced by Nationals leader Brendon Grylls, as “draconian” and said they dealt a blow to people’s personal rights.
“The changes the Nationals leader is introducing into these draconian leases will really hurt pastoralists throughout regional WA,” Ms Price said.
“It’s a slap in the face for pastoralists, who have put their life into running their business in a professional way over many years, to have the Nationals come in and say [we don’t trust you to run your business properly, here’s a set of rules where we can kick you out at the drop of a hat]”.
“I believe the proposed changes tip the balance too far towards the government’s favour with the ability to terminate a lease on financial, animal welfare and environmental grounds with no right of appeal.
“As a lawyer I know the right to appeal is a basic tenet of fairness and I understand why so many pastoralists are concerned.
“If elected I will lobby my Liberal colleagues, the Premier and the agricultural minister, to overturn these changes.”
Ms Price said State Government Liberals had launched a Parliamentary inquiry into the issue.
Chaired by Liberal member Liz Behjat, the Public Administration Committee is taking submissions until Friday, 13 September 2013.