- Ministerial Council will address the Planning for the Fitzroy forum at Fitzroy Crossing
Fitzroy Crossing will host the McGowan Government and key stakeholders from across the Kimberley region for today's Planning for the Fitzroy forum.
The State Government has an ongoing dialogue with the community to deliver a plan for the Fitzroy River, which protects the long-term health of this significant and highly valued river while providing for sustainable economic development for the Kimberley.
The Ministerial Council, being the Ministers for Environment; Agriculture and Food; Regional Development; Water; and Aboriginal Affairs, will discuss progress and direction in relation to the Fitzroy River management plan, a water allocation plan and proposed national park.
This follows broad stakeholder consultation, led by Stakeholder Convenor Bardy McFarlane, involving traditional owners and representatives from Aboriginal groups, pastoralists, environmental organisations, government agencies and industry to ensure a sensitive and sustainable approach which takes into account the cultural, environmental and economic values of this important resource.
Comments attributed to Regional Development and Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The Fitzroy River management plan is being developed to protect the health of the river while providing a basis for sustainable economic development.
"We are working hard to establish common ground among stakeholders.
"The management plan will incorporate Aboriginal economic development, agricultural development, environment and cultural conservation and tourism.
"This includes achieving a productive and sustainable mosaic of irrigated agriculture to enhance the pastoral industry in the Fitzroy River catchment based on sound science."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The opportunity for a national park in the Fitzroy Valley will enable Aboriginal people to establish and operate tourism ventures and other enterprises on country.
"The area along the Fitzroy and Margaret rivers would include the riverbed and riparian vegetation, as well as an immediate buffer to enable effective and efficient management of the national park.
"It would potentially extend to include nearby Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, other historic sites, and existing and future tourism and recreation areas.
"Consultation with traditional owners, pastoral holders, and other key stakeholders is underway and will continue over the planning process for the national park creation."
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"Our election commitment to no dams on the river is very clear and the most important policy for protecting the river.
"A water allocation plan for the catchment, built on scientific evidence and guided by cultural and environmental values will provide a strong and transparent foundation for protecting the river and supporting sustainable development.
"The water allocation plan will include licensing rules and policies to maintain social, cultural and environmental values, and an adaptive framework for continual monitoring and protection of the river's natural flow regime.
"DWER is currently consulting with pastoralists, traditional owners, environmental groups, and other stakeholders about protecting the cultural and environmental values of the river to underpin the development of the water allocation plan."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"The traditional owners of the Fitzroy catchment have, and always will play, an integral role in the protection and management of this significant natural asset.
"The combination of indigenous science, ecological knowledge and western science and technology provide a strong foundation for the viable and sustainable management of the Fitzroy.
"The State Government is looking forward to partnering with traditional owners on innovative economic development opportunities that support Aboriginal people and communities to stay connected to country and maximise the benefits from land and natural assets."
Regional Development and Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Water Minister's office - 6552 6100
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900