Publication Date


Document Type


DPIRD Collections

Grains and field crops


Department of Agriculture




With the discovery of the role of trace elements, large tracts of land in the south west of Western Australia, previously regarded as unsuitable for agriculture, were cleared in the 1950s and 1960s. Much of this land was taken up as Conditional Purchase Blocks, a scheme which enabled conversion of unalienated crown land to freehold title providing a set proportion of the block was 'developed'.

However, the removal of the natural deep rooted vegetation and its replacement with pasture species (up to 90% of privately owned land in the Napier-King LCD area is cleared) has not been without problems. The reduced water use of improved pastures has led to waterlogging while clover based pastures have caused soil acidity and water repellance leading to declining agricultural production. Furthermore there have been major off farm effects such as salinity and the eutrophication of estuarine water bodies. These problems have been documented in the Select Committee's Report into land degradation.

In 1987, following an increasing community awareness of environmental issues, the State Government adopted a State Conservation Strategy. The aims of this strategy are to:

- Maintain essential ecological systems.

- Ensure the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems.

- Develop a regional approach for the long term planning and management of the environment.

- Ensure that the Government's programmes are directed towards resource conservation and sustainable use.

- Develop mechanisms for community involvement

To help meet this strategy's aims in the rural environment and combat land degradation problems the the State Government has provided for the formation of community based land conservation groups which complement the Federal Government funded National Soil Conservation Programme (NSCP)

Number of Pages



Western Australia, Conservation, Land use Australia Management, South west region (W.A.).


Earth Sciences | Environmental Monitoring | Water Resource Management

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