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Developing a WA Climate Policy – What are the issues and the opportunities?

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Operations

As the Government progresses with developing a new State Climate Policy the recently released Issues Paper outlines some of the opportunities and challenges the state faces to minimise the impact of the changing climate on our economy and our community.

Wheatbelt NRM have reviewed the Issues Paper and have drafted a submission. The consultation processes is outlined here - consult.dwer.wa.gov.au/climatechange/issues-paper/
The submission process has 39 questions! So that can be a bit of work, we haven’t addressed all of them, feel free to cut and paste our words into your own submission if that helps you or provide us comment so we can update our submission to better reflect the Wheatbelt Community.
Here is our summary answer to the 39 questions:

The climate issues paper highlights Governments role in providing information to improve resilience.  Classic studies of resilience considered that resilience – the ability to bounce back after a stressor – is a factor of diversity and redundancy.  That is diversity will ensure the whole system doesn’t respond to the stressor in the same way, and redundancies (i.e having more parts to the system that it uses at any one time) mean that there is something to step in and take over after the impact of the stressor.
This is different thinking to modern business approaches that triumph the most efficient, drive for lean systems and seek golden solutions.  This thinking has created monoliths – which are the opposite of resilience.  Monocultures in agriculture, economies dominated by one sector, utilities reliant on a single infrastructure.  Most worrying about the monoliths is how hard they are to move, they will protect themselves.  For this reason, we have laws to prevent monopolies. 

Resilience comes from having lots of little guys, so that when the stressor happens different parts of the system react differently and there is always something/someone to step in.

The Natural Resource Management Strategy for the Avon River Basin put a strategic priority on diversifying agriculture to make fit-for-purpose use of the landscape.  This should be a priority for Government action, support the industries in the Wheatbelt to diversify.   Diversify in terms of product, position on the supply chain and importantly diversity in thinking.

Governments can support resilience by supporting the small and different, by taking on the action that creates knock-on benefits in our regional communities and posing the question “how will your business make money in the years when it doesn’t rain?”

If the governments support the rapid take up of perennial based systems, Wheatbelt business may all be comfortably able to answer that question.
•    Biomass based hydrogen production
•    Sandalwood plantations
•    Carbon farming
•    Environmental stewardship payments
•    Perennial fodder systems
•    Eco tourism
•    etc

View the Climate Change Issues paper response to questions: http://wheatbeltnrm.org.au/file/climate-change-issues-paper-response-questionsdocx
View the Climate issues opportunities response: http://wheatbeltnrm.org.au/file/climate-issues-opportunities-responsedocx

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