Congratulations on your recent appointment as Premier of Western Australia.
The Kimberley’s Martuwarra Fitzroy River is of outstanding significance to Traditional Owners and all Western Australians and is recognised through National Heritage Listing and as WA’s largest registered cultural heritage site.
In 2017, the incoming McGowan Government committed to protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River by creating the Fitzroy River National Park, not allowing the Martuwarra Fitzroy River or its tributaries to be dammed, and to develop a Fitzroy River Management Plan to ensure the health of the Martuwarra and to create sustainable development.
As my new Premier, I urge you to follow through on these commitments and to protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River. Proposals to take water from the river or its floodplains for large-scale development seriously threaten to cause irreversible harm to this ecological and culturally important river system.
Damaging large-scale developments are not needed on the Martuwarra. There is opportunity to build a vibrant and modern economy without taking water from the river and creating another Murray-Darling disaster.
Premier Cook, I urge you to co-design a model for the long-term protection of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River and its floodplains with Traditional Owners. Furthermore, Traditional Owners of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River have existing plans for sustainable development and jobs which should be implemented.
There is huge public support for you to protect the Martuwarra, Premier Cook. In 2021 more than 43,000 Australians wrote submissions in response to the Draft Fitzroy River Water Discussion Paper and a petition signed by more than 26,000 Australians was recently delivered to WA Government, calling for all plans for large-scale irrigation to be abandoned and for long-lasting protection of the river.
I urge you to protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River and create an extraordinary legacy for WA’s future and this globally important river.