Pas­toral­ists eye Fitzroy work­ing group

Broome Advertiser - - NEWS - Jenne Bram­mer

Gina Rine­hart’s Han­cock Agri­cul­ture and the Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion have joined forces to ex­plore whether there is ap­petite to cre­ate a group to work with the State Govern­ment to help shape its vi­sion for the Fitzroy River.

An in­vi­ta­tion to dis­cuss form­ing a steer­ing group has been is­sued to key stake­hold­ers who would be af­fected by the State Govern­ment’s Fitzroy River elec­tion com­mit­ments.

The com­mit­ments in­volve cre­ation of the Fitzroy River Na­tional Park and the de­vel­op­ment of a man­age­ment plan for the Fitzroy catch­ment, in­cor­po­rat­ing a water-al­lo­ca­tion plan to en­sure the long-term health of the river. As part of its com­mit­ments, the Govern­ment has also stated the Fitzroy River and its trib­u­taries will not be dammed.

Pas­toral­ists in the area are con­cerned that, aside from sti­fling fur­ther eco­nomic progress, the recla­ma­tion of land and pre­vent­ing live­stock from ac­cess­ing drink­ing water by fenc­ing off the river could cause pro­duc­tiv­ity losses amount­ing to tens of mil­lions of dol­lars.

Al­though there is no de­tail yet on planned bound­aries for the na­tional park, be­cause of their lo­ca­tions Mrs Rine­hart’s Fos­sil Downs and Liver­ing a sta­tions, and the Har­ris fam­ily’s Gogo Sta­tion are ex­pected to be among the big­gest losers from the Govern­ment’s na­tional park plans.

The catch­ment man­age­ment plan, mean­while, could af­fect up to 48 pas­toral leases.

A let­ter sent by the KPCA last week in­vited pas­toral­ists, tra­di­tional own­ers, en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and some govern­ment agen­cies to at­tend an ini­tial ex­ploratory meet­ing on June 22 at Fitzroy Cross­ing.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

A trib­u­tary of the mighty Fitzroy River.

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