UPDATED 3pm: TRAVELLING stock routes should remain in state government hands, and Local Land Services rangers should spend time learning from the drovers using them, according to an Upper House inquiry.
The final report from the Crown Lands management inquiry also said a commissioner should be installed to oversee impending reform for the $12 billion, 34 million-hectare estate, with management of some land expected to be transferred to local governments.
Among the inquiry’s 20 recommendations was that LLS be given more funding to manage stock routes, which was welcomed by the Combined Action to Retain Routes for Travelling Stock group.
CARRTS Spokesman Philip Dartnell said members were generally pleased with the inquiry’s recommendations on the long paddock.
These included allowing drovers to participate in management decisions at a board level, and implementing a compulsory LLS ranger intern program to train with drovers and graziers.
“That’s been the biggest thing... not having people with droving and grazing experience involved in making the decisions,” Mr Dartnell said.
“We felt the job of being a TSR ranger had been watered down to be the poor cousin of jobs within LLS. We’ve also said there needs to be more droving experience at a board level, so it is good to see this (among the recommendation)s.”
Mr Dartnell said the communication between his group and government had improved significantly over the past 12 months.
“But there’s not enough funding going into LLS to do the TSR’s justice,” he said. “There was great concern TSR’s were going to be sold off, which was probably a mixture of rumour, innuendo and half truths. So overall what we’ve got on the table now, it’s a good outcome.”
Inquiry member and Opposition lands spokesman Mick Veitch wants minister Niall Blair to give constituents one last look at the laws before they are tabled in parliament this year.
“We’ve been assured there are going to be no surprises - but this is a very complex Bill and people want to know it will be done right,” Mr Veitch said.
Mr Blair said there had been extensive public consultation and continuing contact on the content of the new laws.
Currently, Crown Lands are state-owned, and include the parks, beaches, and waterways that are home to many local clubs, halls, showgrounds, access roads, and grazing paddocks. Government has previously flagged transferring some of this land to local government on a voluntary basis in line with community interests.