It is a historic day for the Martuwarra Fitzroy River as we celebrate the creation of the Bunuba National Park.
For more than 70 years, Bunuba Traditional Owners have worked to protect their Country and culture from dams and irrigation proposals, and today they have secured protection!
The Bunuba National Park will cover 220,000 hectares and will protect parts of the National Heritage listed Martuwarra Fitzroy River, extending from the existing Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park along the river flowing north to Jijidu (Dimond Gorge).
Since the 50s, Bunuba people have tirelessly challenged proposals to dam and irrigate from Jijidu (Dimond Gorge), including a major campaign in the 1990s.
Bunuba Elder Selena Middelton said it was a significant day for her people and the Martuwarra Fitzroy River.
“Today was a very special day for Bunuba people. We’ve got a national park now to protect the river, to protect our country, to protect the environment - everything. I’m proud. I’m a proud Bunuba woman,” she said.
Bunuba Traditional Owners celebrate the creation of the Bunuba National Park. Credit: DBCA
This new national park will be jointly-managed by Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Government, and will safeguard unique landscapes, wildlife and Aboriginal culture, while creating sustainable local jobs, like Aboriginal ranger positions and Indigenous tourism.
This announcement is a major milestone in the delivery of the Labor Government’s 2017 election commitment to create three national parks in the Fitzroy Valley and one step closer to their promise to protect the river.
This new park will protect key stretches of the river where large instream dams could be built and is a major milestone towards protecting the river. However, irrigation proposals still threaten large parts of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River.
A huge congratulations to Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation, Bunuba Traditional Owners and the WA Government for this historic achievement!