It has been another big year for the campaign to protect the mighty Martuwarra Fitzroy River!
We’re ending this year on a high with the recent commitment from the WA Government to protect the Martuwarra’s surface water flows – a massive milestone to celebrate this Christmas.
Here’s a look back at 2023 and your support to help protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River:
WA’s worst floods cause widespread loss and damage in the Fitzroy Valley
In January, a catastrophic flood destroyed homes, businesses, roads and the iconic Fitzroy River Bridge, with floodwaters hiting a record-breaking 15.8 metres in Fitzroy Crossing. The force of this extreme flood caused widespread erosion along the Martuwarra’s banks, destruction of infrastructure and loss of sacred cultural sites at Danggu Gorge.
Alongside the devastation, there were also heart-warming moments as communities from across the Kimberley rallied together to support each other, as well as people from across Australia chipping in to donate to flood relief.
Film Festival raises money for flood relief and shares importance of protecting the Martuwarra
Hundreds of people from around Perth attended a sell-out screening of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Film Festival at the WA Maritime Museum in May, which raised much-needed funds for Fitzroy Valley flood relief.
Guests heard from Martuwarra Traditional Owners, who starred in the line-up of films about the importance of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River and their passion to protect their river.
Petition to protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River delivered to Parliament!
In May, Traditional Owners travelled from the Kimberley to deliver a petition signed by more than 27,000 passionate supporters, like you, calling for the Martuwarra to be protected.
The petition was delivered to Environment Minister Reece Whitby and Kimberley MP Divina D’Anna on the steps of Parliament House, calling for no water take from the river.
National park created on Bunuba Country – further protecting the Martuwarra Fitzroy River!
The Bunuba National Park was declared in August at a celebration on Bunuba Country at Windjana Gorge.
The historic announcement meant that after 70 years of Traditional Owners tirelessly challenging proposals to dam Jijidu (Dimond Gorge) to take water in the upper reaches of the Martuwarra, this beautiful part of Bunuba Country will now be protected for generations to come.
This was a tremendous achievement by Bunuba Traditional Owners. The national park covers 220,000 hectares and protects a section of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River from Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park north to Dimond Gorge.
New breakthrough commitment to protect the Martuwarra Fitzroy River
The most exciting news for this year came in October when the WA Government announced a commitment for no further surface water take from the Martuwarra Fitzroy River – a massive turning point for the campaign!
This commitment will shape the upcoming water allocation plan and if implemented could lead to strong, long-lasting protection for the river.
In 2024, we will need your support again to ensure the Water Minister knows how important it is that this commitment becomes reality and the Martuwarra is kept free-flowing for generations to come.
We couldn’t have made it this far without our supporters. We’ll be back in touch in the new year with more updates on how you can help protect the mighty Martuwarra Fitzroy River.
Everyone from The Kimberley – Like Nowhere Else team thanks you for your support this year, and we wish you a happy and safe festive season.
For the Martuwarra!