Input wasn’t helpful
The contribution of Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook about the future of the Fitzroy (News, 27/8) has proven to be ill-informed, alarmist and unhelpful.
The McGowan Government is working collaboratively with many stakeholders to create a national park along the Fitzroy while supporting a sustainable agricultural industry in the region.
The Fitzroy River has unique environmental and cultural values of national and international importance.
The State Government is working with traditional owners, pastoralists, the local community and across many other sectors to deliver our suite of election commitments relating to the Fitzroy River, as well as delivering Plan for Our Parks.
The creation of the national park will enable traditional owners to manage country in partnership with the State Government, ensuring its unique values are protected and enjoyed for many generations.
Neighbouring pastoralists have been consulted and provided many opportunities to discuss boundaries, access to water, bores, fencing, and to ensure that opportunities for diversification are not adversely affected by the national park.
The vast majority of these discussions with pastoral lease holders have been positive and productive.
Mr Seabrook’s view that the national park creation will “limit the ability of landholders to maximise water use; reduce grazing areas; and limit stock access to the Fitzroy and its tributaries” is wrong.
There is no compulsory acquisition of any pastoral lease for the creation of the national park. Decisions about water allocations, types of water storage and assessment of development proposals will be informed by the consultation process and catchment management arrangements. There are a diverse range of stakeholders with differing views, and balance is important to ensure the Fitzroy’s long-term, sustainable future.
Support for a productive, diversified and sustainable agricultural sector is critical to this purpose, as is the creation of the national park to ensure the magnificent cultural and environmental values are protected.
Stephen Dawson, Environment Minister