The McGowan Government is pleased to announce the creation of the Warlibirri National Park, a milestone under the Plan for Our Parks initiative.
Traditional Owners were central to the creation of this national park, with the area co-designed with the Gooniyandi people.
The national park spans close to 16,000 hectares, covering areas of the Margaret River east of Fitzroy Crossing and on Gooniyandi country.
It's the first step in the establishment of a series of national parks in the Fitzroy Valley, which will start at the banks of the Danggu (Geikie Gorge) National Park and head east along the Margaret River, and also north winding along the Fitzroy River.
Freshwater places on Gooniyandi country, including the Margaret River are important places for Gooniyandi people. The totems of many families are connected to these freshwater places as are the diverse range of flora and fauna found along the river.
The river and waterholes that are now protected by the national park include many special cultural sites for Gooniyandi with associated stories and traditions.
Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation will jointly manage the national park with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The park creation is part of the McGowan Government's plans to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves under the Plan for Our Parks initiative.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
"As a Government we are committed to protecting and enhancing our State's environmental heritage values and assets, investing in strong and vibrant regions and to ensuring positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.
"For the Gooniyandi people, the River is a living ancestral being and has important cultural, environmental and economic values.
"Plan for Our Parks is delivering new conservation reserves across our State as well as creating on-country jobs for Aboriginal people."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"Congratulations to the Gooniyandi Traditional Owners on their work in creating the Warlibirri National Park.
"This new national park is a welcome addition to the spectacular Kimberley region, an area rich in cultural history.
"This is the first step in the process of creating the broader Fitzroy River National Park under the Plan for Our Parks initiative."
Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:
"This new national park is the first step in meeting this important election commitment for a national park along the Fitzroy and Margaret rivers in the Kimberley.
"It is wonderful to celebrate this milestone on-country with Gooniyandi traditional owners."
Comments attributed to Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation Chair Claude Carter:
"We welcome everyone to come and visit the Gooniyandi Warlibirri National Park.
"Protecting the river and creating jobs for our people is very important, and the creation of this national park will help that.
"Thank you to all that have helped achieve this milestone for the Gooniyandi people."