Landmark carbon farming decision could be pastoral win

Zach RelphCountryman
Yowergabbie Station pastoralist Jorgen Jensen.
Camera IconYowergabbie Station pastoralist Jorgen Jensen. Credit: Danella Bevis

Yoweragabbie Station owner Jorgen Jensen says the State Government’s landmark decision to allow carbon farming on WA pastoral leases will provided pastoralists with a much-needed shot in the arm.

The McGowan Government confirmed last Thursday pastoralists will be able to earn carbon credits from sequestering carbon on pastoral lands for the first time in the State’s history.

It is hoped the decision will aid pastoralists to build resilience to dry conditions, while improving pastoral productivity.

Mr Jensen, who runs cattle at Yoweragabbie between Mt Magnet and Yalgoo in the Mid West, has already implemented a carbon-farming project at the station through rotational grazing program.

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The third-generation pastoralist was announced as a successful bidder in the Federal Government-led Emissions Reduction Fund’s eighth auction round last December.

Mr Jensen said the State Government’s decision to approve more carbon farming opportunities in WA through the Human Induced Regeneration system would help pastoralists to diversify their income.

“It is great that it is going ahead and it will be good to see where carbon farming goes from here, because it had to start somewhere,” he said.

“The way carbon farming encourages regeneration and land management changes, I think it will be a good thing.

“It can be a good alternative income stream and gives you the bonus of vegetation cover.”

The State Government believes its decision could allow pastoralists to earn at least $70 million over 25 years from the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund.

WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson described it as the first step to “unlocking WA’s significant carbon sequestration potential”.

“Importantly, this method of carbon farming also improves the environmental condition of WA’s rangelands through regeneration and provides economic development in our regions,” he said.

“The development of WA’s carbon market opportunities will be a key element of the McGowan Government’s State Climate Policy to be released next year.”

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