The Ningaloo Coast will be jointly managed between traditional owners and the State Government, following the historic signing of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today joined the traditional owners from Nganhurra Thanardi Garrbu Aboriginal Corporation (NTGAC) and native title representative body Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) on the Ningaloo Coast to celebrate the signing.
The agreement provides for the joint management and joint vesting of the existing Ningaloo Marine Park (260,000 hectares) and Cape Range National Park (50,000 hectares), as well as the creation of about 78,000 hectares of new conservation areas extending over approximately 215 kilometres of the Ningaloo Coast.
The new reserves will be jointly managed by NTGAC and the Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
The Ningaloo ILUA is the first ILUA delivered under the McGowan Government's Plan for Our Parks initiative, which aims to increase the conservation estate in Western Australia by five million hectares over five years through new jointly managed parks and reserves.
The formal creation of the Nyinggulu Coastal Reserves and release of the joint management plan is expected in coming weeks.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is one of WA's premier tourism destinations, and the McGowan Government has been working hard with traditional owners to protect the extraordinary natural and cultural values of this place while ensuring ongoing visitor access to camping and other recreational opportunities in the region.
"This native title agreement paves the way for this iconic part of the world to be showcased, protected and formally jointly vested and managed with traditional owners and DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service, protecting the area for future generations of Western Australians.
"This achievement is the culmination of many years of work to conserve and protect the Ningaloo Coast, and this Government is proud to have worked collaboratively with NTGAC and YMAC to deliver this important outcome."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"We are working with traditional owners to manage country and 'close the gap' by providing social, cultural and economic development opportunities for communities through the negotiation of native title agreements and initiatives such as the Aboriginal Ranger Program.
"This native title agreement demonstrates the McGowan Government's commitment to enhanced engagement, partnerships and agreement-making with traditional owners.
"This agreement will enhance the management and tourism attraction for this spectacularly beautiful region of our State.
"The McGowan Government is currently in negotiations with other native title groups across Western Australia to deliver similar outcomes that will provide meaningful opportunities for traditional owners, create jobs and support new tourism opportunities."
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office 6552 5900