It's been a big year working to support the delivery of the Government’s election commitments — to create a marine park around the thousand islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago and the long-term protection of the mighty Fitzroy River.
Major moments this year have been:
- Working together to generate over 1000 submissions to the EPA raising concerns about a proposed 50 billion litre dam and irrigation project at Gogo Station. The EPA decided to do a comprehensive assessment, and cited strong community concerns as a reason. Next year, we will continue to focus on stopping this Murray-Darling style dam and irrigation project.
- In March, four Ministers attended a stakeholder meeting in Fitzroy Crossing to kick off progress on the Government's election commitments to protect the river. It was first time four Minister had travelled together to the Kimberley.
- In May, Traditional Owners formed the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council to work together to enact the 2016 Fitzroy River Declaration that calls for protection of the river.
- In July, 1850 of us wrote to the Environment Minister calling for the inclusion of the pristine Adele Island, and Beagle and Mavis Reefs in the Buccaneer Archipelago Marine Park. The Minister responded and confirmed that they will be included when the boundaries of the park are announced in 2019.
- In September, the NAWRA report was launched by the Federal Government, calling for a massive expansion of industrial irrigation along the Fitzroy River. With your help, sending over 2000 emails to the Premier, we supported the WA Government to respond by reiterating their commitment to protection and sustainable development and rejecting these extreme plans.
Next year the Government expects to continue with the Fitzroy River National Park, the Buccaneer Archipelago Marine Park, and to create a new water allocation plan for the Fitzroy as the first step towards a management plan for the river.
We'll focus on making sure this allocation plan meets the election commitment to protect the river by creating a buffer zone to protect the river from water extraction for irrigation, mining and other threatening uses.
Thank you for being part of the year's journey — the passion of our Kimberley supporters is inspiring and the strength behind our ongoing success. We can't wait to kick more goals together in 2019 to secure permanent protection for magnificent places in the Kimberley!
Happy holidays to you and yours,
Monique, Tim & the Like Nowhere Else team
Images from top to bottom, left to right:
~ The Fitzroy River Science Statement was released in March, written by 9 river experts and signed by over 100 scientists
~ A Field-guide to Fishes of the Kimberley was launched in April, featuring 18 species that are only found in the Fitzroy River
~ We produced a short video called Desert River to highlight the Fitzroy's vulnerable boom-bust nature
~ 170 Perth folk enjoyed a great presentation from scientists and indigenous rangers at Sawfish Stories in June
~ The new Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council travelled to Perth in June to voice their views on river protection to the government
~ The extreme NAWRA report was the biggest threat to the Fitzroy in decades
~ The state government's decision to include Adele Island in the proposed Buccaneer Archipelago marine park was a great outcome
~ A packed room of Broome locals enjoyed hearing from Nyikina Mangala rangers and sawfish scientists in November