Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

    New funding assists local communities manage high priority rivers in Fitzroy catchment

    29/09/2009 12:00 AM
     

    A river education program designed to integrate cultural knowledge and western science will expand with the help of new funding from the State Government.

     

    “We believe Aboriginal communities have the ability to monitor and restore the health of the Fitzroy River,” Water Minister Graham Jacobs said in launching the project.

     

    “This funding will provide community rangers with specific skills in waterways management that will allow them to do this.

     

    “By increasing the natural resource management skill levels of Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley we are empowering Aboriginal people to manage country which is of benefit to everyone.”

     

    Dr Jacobs said the development of ranger and Aboriginal ranger skills in water monitoring and management enabled individuals to be engaged in ‘fee for service’ arrangements with researchers and government agencies.

     

    “This has significant economic(employment) and social (connection to country) benefits to indigenous communities and rangers, while improving the condition of rivers at the same time,” he said.

     

    The program has been developed by the Department of Water and The University of Western Australia and was originally funded by the Rangelands natural resource management coordinating group.

     

    One of the program’s projects will see the rangers develop a detailed engineering design for a fish passage at Camballin on the Fitzroy River.

     

    Apart from educating and involving the rangers in engineering works, when completed, the fish passage will be of benefit to fish such as the vulnerable Freshwater Sawfish.

     

    “This is a great example of the real benefit this capacity building will bring to the Fitzroy,” the Minister said.

     

    “By allowing the sawfish to migrate upstream for up to 10 months of the year they can avoid large predators and enhance breeding, which will help the population to improve and hopefully see this fish removed from the endangered list.

     

    “The strong community involvement makes this of great benefit in protecting and enhancing our natural resources for the benefit of all Western Australians.”

     

    Mining and Pastoral MLC Ken Baston said that the strong community involvement makes this of great benefit in protecting and enhancing our natural resources for the benefit of all Western Australians.

     

    This project is one of 15 around the State from an allocation of $5.4million by the State Government to further natural resource management.

     

    Minister's office  - 9213 6900