ILUA paves the way for creation of Fortescue Marsh Nature Reserve

  • Creation of Class A nature reserve in the Pilbara one step closer following signing of agreement between State Government and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation
  • Proposed reserve to add 107,000 hectares to State’s conservation estate

Parts of the Pilbara’s largest seasonal wetland will be classified as Class A nature reserve following the signing of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation.

The move comes as part of the State Government’s ambitious goal of creating five million hectares of new conservation estate through Plan for our Parks.

Located between the Chichester and Hamersley Ranges in the Fortescue River valley, the proposed Fortescue Marsh Nature Reserve will span 107,000 hectares and include areas of immense cultural significance to the Nyiyaparli people, with several important ceremonial and mythological sites located within and near the marsh.

The marsh is also home to many species of waterbirds and native wildlife, including the critically endangered night parrot and the endangered northern quoll, bilby, and Pilbara olive python.

The area will be jointly managed by Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“I would like to acknowledge the vision and commitment of Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation for entering into this agreement with the State Government.

“Together, we are creating a Class A nature reserve at Fortescue Marsh that will protect the area’s rich biodiversity and vibrant culture for current and future generations.

“The Cook Government is proud of its record of working with Traditional Owners

“I look forward to celebrating this important milestone on Country with Nyiyaparli people later this year.”

Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

“I am proud to be part of a government that prioritises environmental conservation and respects Indigenous heritage.

“The signing of the agreement between the State Government and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation marks a significant step towards the creation of a Class A nature reserve in our Pilbara region.

“This proposed reserve will not only expand the State’s conservation estate but also protect vital ecosystems and culturally significant sites for generations to come.

“I commend the collaborative effort between Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in jointly managing this precious area.

“Together, we are working towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for Pilbara and its communities.”

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