• Stage one completed
  • The proposed 333,127 hectare national park is about 440km east of Perth 

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today announced that the creation of the proposed Helena and Aurora Ranges National Park is one step closer with stage one now complete.

The Helena and Aurora Ranges are 2.5 billion-year-old banded iron formation ranges that have outstanding landscape values. The area is also rich in biodiversity and cultural values.

Importantly the area is habitat to the malleefowl, a threatened species of bird. There are also a range of different marsupials that call the area home including the little long-tailed dunnart, echidna and pygmy possum.

There are nine registered Aboriginal sites within the proposed national park including mythological sites, ceremonial sites, paintings and engravings.

Stage one involved the upgrade of the existing non-class A Mount Manning Range Nature Reserve to class A national park.

The next stage involves the conversion of Mount Manning Conservation Park to class A national park and requires the development of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Marlinyu Ghoorlie native title claimants.

The Helena and Aurora Ranges are the jewel in the crown of the Great Western Woodlands, which is regarded as the largest remaining area of intact Mediterranean-climate woodland left on Earth, and contains about 3,000 species of flowering plants, about a fifth of all known flora in Australia.

The McGowan Government previously committed $2 million for the creation and ongoing management of the proposed national park, as part of the ground-breaking Plan for Our Parks initiative.

Plan for Our Parks was announced by the McGowan Government in 2019, with the aim to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves across Western Australia over five years.

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"In 2017 I said we would investigate options to protect this significant area in a class A reserve, and I am proud to say this process is now underway with the conversion of the nature reserve to class A national park.

"National park status will provide the best ongoing protection for this significant natural asset that the Environmental Protection Authority has described as a biodiversity hotspot.

"An Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the remainder of the proposed Helena and Aurora Ranges National Park as part of stage two could provide substantial benefits for Aboriginal people, including opportunities for joint management and employment in land management.

"This is an important first step in preserving the ranges for future generations. It will ensure that they have the highest level of protection and can be enjoyed by locals and visitors to the region."