New national park created on Bunuba Country!
BREAKING: Bunuba Traditional Owners and the WA Government have created the Bunuba National Park in the Fitzroy Valley
In a huge win for the Kimberley’s Martuwarra Fitzroy River, Traditional Owners have created a new national park, which will protect the Bunuba section of the river, Bandaralngarri including Jijidu Dimond Gorge, which has been a proposed dam site for decades.
Covering 220,000 hectares, the new national park will extend from the existing Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park, along the river, north to Dimond Gorge – protecting the gorge from dams and development forever.
Back in 1996, Environs Kimberley was formed when cotton farmers from New South Wales wanted to dam the Martuwarra Fitzroy River to irrigate broadscale cotton crops in the west Kimberley. We joined Traditional Owner groups from along the river in their determined struggle to prevent this from happening. After we stopped the cotton, there were further proposals to dam the river and pipe the water to Perth, which, after years of low rainfall, was running out of water.
Our long campaign in solidarity with TOs has paid off and the river at Jijidu is safe. Threats remain to the lower reaches of the river but for now, we celebrate!
This new national park will safeguard unique landscapes, wildlife, Aboriginal culture and heritage, while creating sustainable local jobs, like Aboriginal ranger positions and Indigenous tourism.
This announcement is a major milestone in the delivery of the Labor Government’s 2017 election commitment to create the Fitzroy River National Park and one step closer to their promise to protect the river.
Today we congratulate Bunuba Traditional Owners for working with the WA Government to create this new national park! Help celebrate this win by sending a message of support to the Premier and Environment Minister.
Image credit: Adam Monk