Broome Advertiser

Input wasn’t helpful

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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

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