“The decision to scrap the new, rushed cultural heritage laws is a win for West Australians who were completely ignored and bamboozled by inner-city elites who wanted to take control of private land by stealth,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
The Friday evening declaration by the Western Australian Government that its position on the rushed, defective, and unworkable laws was untenable, is a win for farming communities who, according to IPA research, are already the most heavily regulated in the nation.
“These laws would have affected the ability of West Australians do to anything on land the size of a large suburban house block, not least prime agricultural land, vital mining projects, as well as community assets such as local football ovals,” said Mr Wild.
In June, representatives of the IPA toured the Great Southern and South West regions of Western Australia to discuss the effects of red-tape and regulation, at that time the number one concern on the minds of these communities was the effect of these heritage laws.
“The anger in local communities we visited was white hot. Those we spoke to in Katanning, Augusta, Kudardup and Busselton were uniform in their views that they had been ignored by leaders in Perth, who foisted untold regulation upon their livelihoods without warning,” said Mr Wild.
“These laws were ill-conceived and completely unworkable from the start, and it is a credit to the communities that we visited, and organisations such as the Pastoral and Graziers Association, who stood up and said they would not be ignored.”
Concerningly, Premier Cook’s statement that his government’s cultural heritage laws would, “do the same thing as the Voice,” demonstrates how powerful the proposed Canberra based, Indigenous-only Voice to Parliament, as well as mooted national cultural heritage laws, would be over the lives of every Australian.
“The development of these laws is a matter of national significance, and in Premier Cook’s own words, a sign of things to come if the proposed Voice to Parliament is permanently enshrined in Australia’s Constitution,” said Mr Wild.
“These laws gave almost unfettered power to bureaucrats, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council, and the State Government to meddle in the work of farmers who we rely on to keep us fed and clothed. Any plans to implement these laws across the nation should be rejected.”
“Australia relies on our regions to put food on our tables and generate our nation’s wealth, which pays for government services like health, education and transport. Holding back our farmers not only hurts them, it hurts all of us.”
“Let this episode be a lesson for our leaders nationwide,” said Mr Wild.
To read the IPA’s research on the regulation of West Australia farmers click here.