Murray-Darling style irrigation proposals that pump water from the Fitzroy River channel, tributaries or floodplains would reduce and redirect water flows and increase pollution. Establishing a new irrigation industry on the Fitzroy River would create an unacceptable risk to culture, community livelihoods, wildlife, wetlands and fishing.
Traditional Owners of the Kimberley area have repeatedly made clear their support for long-term protections for the Fitzroy River; in the 2011 National Heritage Listing, 2016 Fitzroy River declaration, and the 2018 Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council.
The way to protect the Fitzroy's flows is by creating a buffer zone against irrigation, dams and mining. A buffer zone covering just 9% of the catchment could protect 90% of the river's channels and wetlands.