Fitzroy River Water Planning reaches significant milestone

  • Cook Government releases key policy positions to guide future water planning in the Fitzroy River, following extensive consultation and scientific studies
  • Supports the State’s commitment to protect the Fitzroy River while enabling sustainable economic development
  • Groundwater to be allocated for future sustainable development, with no additional surface water to be allocated
  • Fitzroy water allocation plan to provide a clear and transparent approach for water management in the Fitzroy River catchment

The State Government has today released key policy positions that will form the basis for the Fitzroy water allocation plan, as part of its ongoing commitment to protecting the Fitzroy River while supporting economic development.

The Water allocation planning in the Fitzroy Policy position paper reaffirms the State’s commitment not to dam the Fitzroy River and its tributaries.

It supports allocating groundwater for future use and development, with no additional surface water to be made available.

The paper has been informed by comprehensive consultation and scientific studies across the Fitzroy River catchment, and will feed into a draft Fitzroy water allocation plan, to be released for public consultation next year.

In November 2020, the Government released a discussion paper seeking feedback on the future of water management in the Fitzroy River catchment. During public consultation, more than 43,000 submissions were received from a range of stakeholders.

The State Government has released a summary of the feedback received for the 2020 discussion paper, as well as five technical reports on the hydrogeology, hydrology, ecological water requirements, and known values of the Fitzroy River.

The State Government has also committed to the release of a revised draft Derby groundwater allocation plan for public comment.

It is anticipated a revised draft Derby groundwater allocation plan will be released alongside the draft Fitzroy plan for a public comment period.

For more information visit Water planning in the Fitzroy | Western Australian Government (

As stated by Water Minister Simone McGurk:

“Ensuring the Fitzroy River’s water resources are managed and developed in a sustainable manner is a priority for this Government and our election commitment to not allow dams on the river is very clear.

“The State Government has responded to the extensive public feedback received on water planning for the Fitzroy River. This is why we are taking the position that no further surface water allocations will be released for licensing.

“This proposal provides an opportunity for sustainable economic development while protecting the Fitzroy River.

“When the draft Fitzroy River water allocation plan is released, I encourage the community to provide their views on the proposed framework for water allocation planning in this region.”

As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:

“The Kimberley is an important agricultural region, and we want to support our pastoralists and also protect the region’s most iconic and important waterways.

“The State Government is committed to sustainable development in the Fitzroy River catchment.”

As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“Our Government is proud to have created the Bunuba and Warlibirri National Parks along the Fitzroy and Margaret River, as part of the historic Plan for Our Parks initiative.

“We are excited to be co-designing a third national park with Yurriyangem Taam Traditional Owners, which will also be jointly managed with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

“We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide informative feedback for this important step for the Fitzroy River and broader region.”

/Public Release. View in full here.