Shadow minister calls for NRM decentralisation

COAST: Shadow environment minister David Speirs looks over the coastline of Murat Bay with Member for Flinders Peter Treloar.

COAST: Shadow environment minister David Speirs looks over the coastline of Murat Bay with Member for Flinders Peter Treloar.

State shadow environment minister David Speirs says decentralisation and bringing natural resource management back to communities will be a part of the Liberal Party’s NRM policy.

Mr Speirs is visiting communities on Eyre Peninsula this week to meet with constituents and discuss topics of interest including coastal protection and natural resource management.

Starting in Ceduna Mr Speirs travelled down the west coast of Eyre Peninsula on Thursday visiting communities including Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay and Elliston on his way to Port Lincoln.

While in Ceduna Mr Speirs said the opposition would release its NRM policy in the next few weeks.

“I can confirm the direction around that will be decentralisation of policy and creating structures or mechanisms that really link natural resource management back to communities,” he said.

Mr Speirs said he initiated a survey across the state this year as he was aware there were “significant concerns” coming from regions across the state about natural resource management.

He said the survey saw 770 responses returned across the state, the Eyre Peninsula contributed more than 20 per cent, the second highest amount.

“The overarching view was people were dissatisfied with natural resource management … and a significant number of people wanted to see greater independence for (NRM) boards from the government.”

Mr Speirs said another result from the survey was 90 per cent said they would like to see NRM board members be elected by community members.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar has applauded he idea of decentralisation of NRM boards across the state, including on the Eyre Peninsula.

Mr Treloar said natural resource management was one of his interests and passions and the local communities should have more of a say.

“It’s important that decision making and involvement be returned to those people that are working at the coalface and that returns confidence in the (NRM) structure,” he said.

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