Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Environment Matters

Liberals to create huge NW national park

Liberal Statement

A re-elected Liberal Government will continue to provide the highest possible protection to Western Australia’s unique marine and terrestrial landscapes by creating one of Australia’s biggest national parks and the country’s second-largest marine park.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the Liberals would create Wanjina National Park in the Kimberley – stretching from Walcott Inlet in the south to the Lawley River in the north – and the Great Kimberley Marine Park.

“The Class A Wanjina National Park will provide the highest level of protection to the internationally recognised environment, rock art and cultural values, including the Wanjinas themselves,” Mr Marmion said.

“Depending on final negotiations, the park will cover up to 20,000 square kilometres – that’s 2,000 square kilometres bigger than Kakadu National Park.

“It will not only protect the distinctive Wanjina rock art, but some of the Kimberley’s most spectacular destinations like Mitchell Falls, Kings Cascades and Pitta Gorge.

“It will also protect more than 500 species of plants and more than half the mammal and bird species found in the entire Kimberley region, including the threatened northern quoll and Gouldian Finch.”

Mr Marmion said a re-elected Liberal Government would invest $15million to expand the Kimberley’s network of marine parks to the State’s border with the Northern Territory.

“This is one of the most significant marine conservation initiatives in Western Australian history,” he said.

“In October 2010, the Premier announced that Camden Sound and the North Kimberley marine parks would be managed together as the Great Kimberley Marine Park.

“The Liberal-led Government has already improved on this commitment by including the Horizontal Falls Marine Park. If re-elected, we will further extend the Kimberley’s marine park network by including the waters from Cape Londonderry east to the Northern Territory border.

“This will mean the Great Kimberley Marine Park will stretch from Talbot Bay to the Northern Territory border.

“The park will cover more than 30,000 square kilometres of the Kimberley’s State waters. It will be second only to the Great Barrier Reef as Australia’s biggest marine park.

“The creation of both the Wanjina National Park and the expanded Kimberley Marine Park build on the success of the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, and will result in an interconnected network of marine parks and national parks covering up to about 50,000 square kilometres.”

If re-elected, a Liberal Government will recognise the native title rights of the traditional owners, including the Dambimangari, Wunambal Gaambera and Wilinggin peoples, and will work closely with them in establishing and managing the Great Kimberley Marine Park and joint-vesting the Wanjina National Park. 

“The Liberal-led Government has already made significant changes to the Conservation and Land Management Act so that the interests of Aboriginal people are explicitly recognised and there is now a legislative basis for joint management of marine and national parks,” Mr Marmion said.

“Never before has a State Government made such an investment in the conservation of the Kimberley’s unique marine and terrestrial environments.”

The creation of the Great Kimberley Marine Park and the Wanjina National Park builds upon the Liberals’ plan for the environment which includes:

  • Replacing the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) with the Western Australian Parks Authority and a separate environmental regulator
  • Building a $15million world-class scientific and research headquarters in Bunbury for the Western Australian Park Authority
  • Introducing a new Biodiversity Conservation Act
  • Proclaiming a marine and national park over the Horizontal Falls site
  • Investing $20million in new camping facilities in national parks and conservation areas
  • Allocating an additional $16.25million in our Swan and Canning rivers
  • $500,000 for the protection of woylies and numbats in the Dryandra Woodlands
  • Investing $4million towards a Western Australian Weather and Climate Program

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