Massive water take suggested for the Fitzroy

Posted on November 16, 2020

The WA Government has released a discussion paper that is considering whether to open the Fitzroy River up to irrigated agriculture. Allowing water to be taken from the river would put the Fitzroy at risk of a Murray-Darling style disaster

Government is considering allowing giant pumps to extract a massive 300 billion litres a year from the river – the equivalent of the entire amount of water all the people of Perth and the South-west use in a year, for free!

Stripping the Fitzroy of so much water will be a disaster. Graziers and Traditional Owners who've suffered immensely in the Murray-Darling are urging us to make sure the same mistakes are not made here.

Traditional Owners, scientists, environment groups, and recreational fishers are all supporting protection to keep the Martuwarra Fitzroy River wild and free flowing; and to avoid the unacceptable risks of taking surface water to the Fitzroy River’s National Heritage values. But broad support from the community is also needed - please send a quick submission today.

The paper does not outline a pathway for the protection and sustainable development of the Fitzroy River. Instead it raises many issues of serious concern:

  • Large dams are proposed to capture surface flows from the river and floodplains via overland flow, pumps and channels.
  • The impacts of pollution from agricultural development are not considered.
  • The Fitzroy River is Western Australia’s longest listed Aboriginal Heritage site. This is not mentioned in the paper; nor is protection of this heritage considered.
  • The extreme risk to critically endangered freshwater sawfish from water extraction and pollution from agriculture is not reflected in the discussion paper.

The WA Government has a clear choice — changing the Fitzroy forever by giving massive handouts of free water to a few wealthy irrigators, or protecting the river so endangered wildlife, sustainable industries, culture and communities can continue to flourish far into the future.

Send a quick submission that you don't support taking water from the Fitzroy River

 

Full details of the WA Government's discussion paper 'Managing water in the Fitzroy River Catchment' are available here

Related

Fitzroy River Film Festival in Bassendean

More than 200 community members joined us for a balmy summer evening under stars to celebrate the Martuwarra at the premiere of the Fitzroy River...

The West Australian: Fitzroy tourism potential worth up to $43m more, report finds

By Jenne Brammer, The West Australian The Fitzroy Valley in WA’s Kimberley could attract up to $43 million more in tourist spending annually if action...

Sound Telegraph: Kimberley Traditional Owners continue calls for Premier to protect region’s Fitzroy River

By Hannah Cross, The Sound Telegraph Kimberley Traditional Owners and organisations are banding together in their fight to protect WA’s largest living river system from...

Advert calls on Premier to not let the Martuwarra Fitzroy River be the next Juukan Gorge

“Don’t let the Martuwarra Fitzroy River become the next Juukan Gorge.”  They are the powerful words from the Kimberley Land Council highlighted in today’s West...

Want to help protect the Kimberley?