Lease allows Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation access to more than 600 hectares of Water Corporation land, 13 kilometres out of Broome
Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation will establish a native fruit tree orchard on the land
More than 600 hectares of State Government land, near Broome, will be leased at no cost to the Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to establish a native fruit tree orchard.
Water Minister Mia Davies said this was the first lease of its kind to be signed by the Water Corporation.
"I'm pleased to see the Water Corporation building on its partnership with MAC to support local projects to create employment, economic, environmental and social benefits for Aboriginal people," Ms Davies said.
"MAC will establish an orchard of native fruits to supply growing international and domestic markets with functional foods, nutritional supplements and ingredients for cosmetic products.
"The project paves the way for a new industry producing native foods, using a blend of traditional and modern horticulture techniques that are chemical free, water efficient and environmentally sustainable.
"One of the first fruit trees to be planted at the site will be gubinge, a native fruit called the Kakadu plum, common in northern Australia and in demand for its health food properties."
The Water Corporation joined forces with MAC in February 2016 to establish thousands of native trees, irrigated with recycled water at the Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant. The native trees will be used to provide seeds for land restoration programs in the Kimberley, and has generated training and employment opportunities for the community.
In October 2016, the native tree project at the Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant was recognised as a WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards finalist in two categories; Sustainability and Agricultural Innovation.
By early-2018, about 10,000 fruit trees are expected to be established across 25 hectares of land
The orchard will use a blend of traditional and modern horticulture techniques that are water efficient, chemical free and environmentally sustainable
The land will be leased to MAC at no cost for the first several years, and the agreement will be revisited once the operation becomes commercially viable
Minister's office - 6552 5500