Salerno Law recently represented members of the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA) in a decidedly successful Class Action objecting to the Western Australian Valuer General (VG) 2019 pastoral rent assessment.

The VG rent assessment had increased rents by more than 300% for some pastoralists. The class action objection, led by Salerno Law Managing Partner Emma Salerno, resulted in ALL objections being allowed and pastoral rents being decreased by up to 250% in some cases.

Pastoral Rents in Western Australia are determined every five years by the Valuer General with rents based on a combination of factors. The factors include, but are not limited to, land values, the economic state of the pastoral industry and the rate of return.

Salerno Law lodged objections on behalf 103 cattle stations and ALL objections were allowed, with significant impacts for the industry including:

  • A reduction of the capitalisation rate from 2.8% to 1.8%
  • A reduction of the average pastoral rent increase in the Kimberley from 325% to 104%
  • A reduction of the average pastoral rent increase in the Pilbara from 91% to 10%
  • A reduction in unimproved land value

These significant rent reductions have massive economic flow on effects for the pastoralists. A reduction in unimproved values will result in a reduction in Shire rates and biosecurity levies payable.

Salerno Law’s win for the pastoral industry also ensures the ongoing accountability of the State Government, in circumstances where government determinations can have disastrous economic impacts on industry.

Sentiments within the industry are high following this result, and Salerno Law aim to assist members to increase certainty and clarity around the rent determination process.

By Emma Salerno

DISCLAIMER: This article is only meant to give you general information and should not be relied on as legal advice. Speak to one of our lawyers for more information.

Salerno Law is managed by Emma Salerno, Managing Partner and CEO, who has a wealth of experience from operating her own businesses across Australia as well as a range of in-house and commercial experience both in Australia and overseas.