- Plan for Our Parks vision to create five million hectares of new national and marine parks
- WA's conservation estate to be increased by 20 per cent by 2023-24
- The single biggest increase in conservation estate in WA's history
- Bold plan will also boost Aboriginal jobs, biodiversity conservation and nature-based and cultural tourism
- Will involve extensive consultation with industry, traditional owners and landholders
- Part of 'Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity' - a new set of government targets
Premier Mark McGowan and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson will today unveil a bold target to create five million hectares of new WA national and marine parks and reserves over the next five years - increasing Western Australia's conservation estate by 20 per cent.
The McGowan Government's Plan for Our Parks is part of 'Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity', a new program of targets to address important issues facing Western Australia.
The Plan for Our Parks initiative will see new and expanded parks from the Kimberley in the north, across WA's Midwest rangelands, through areas from Perth to Bunbury, to the South-West forests and a potential new marine park along the southern coastline.
The expansion plan will create more opportunities for Aboriginal joint management and on-country jobs, and provide conservation and nature-based tourism benefits.
It will deliver on a number of existing commitments to expand WA's conservation estate, and create new opportunities for jointly managed parks and reserves.
The McGowan Government will work with key stakeholders to achieve these new targets.
A comprehensive consultation process will now start with traditional owners, the resources sector, pastoralists, commercial and recreational fishers, conservation groups, local government and other key stakeholders and interest holders.
From this, specific park boundaries and management approaches will be refined before the individual parks and reserves are created over the next five years.
To view the plan, visit https://pws.dbca.wa.gov.au/planforourparks
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is a bold plan that will increase our conservation estate by about 20 per cent over the next five years. This is the biggest single increase in conservation estate in Western Australia's history and one of the biggest in the nation.
"Ensuring that we protect WA's unique natural environment and leave a positive environmental legacy for future generations is a key priority of my Government.
"Increasingly tourists from Australia and around the world want to see and experience WA's amazing natural environment. By expanding our conservation estate, in consultation with industry, we can create new jobs and opportunities.
"Many of the areas earmarked for inclusion were purchased by the State and Federal Liberal-National Governments in the late 1990s, to be converted into national parks and conservation reserves.
"The Plan for Our Parks sets out a defined target to increase WA's conservation estate, and my Government will be held to account on achieving that target.
"Plan for Our Parks will complement our successful Aboriginal Ranger Program by providing more opportunities for traditional owners to jointly manage country, and creating more jobs in regional and remote Western Australia.
"The release of the Plan for Our Parks is just the beginning. We will now get to work with key stakeholders to develop strategies to best implement our plans."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"As Western Australia's Environment Minister, I'm really excited that issues like biodiversity, Aboriginal employment and tourism are being elevated to ensure they receive top priority from the McGowan Government over the next five years.
"This plan will ensure new and expanded parks and reserves are created to enhance biodiversity conservation, including habitat for the many threatened native animals and plants that are unique to Western Australia.
"Our State is already famous for its iconic national and marine parks, and providing more access to our natural assets while enhancing their protection will further put Western Australia on the eco-tourism map.
"We are entering a new era of Aboriginal joint management of parks and I am proud to expand our conservation estate in a way that will benefit traditional owners and all Western Australians, now and into the future."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800