The magnificent Mitchell Plateau will be included in a new Kimberley National Park, thanks to an historic agreement between the State Government, Rio Tinto and Alcoa of Australia.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett announced he would introduce legislation to State Parliament to terminate a State Agreement for the development of an alumina refinery and bauxite mine in the Mitchell Plateau region of the Kimberley.
“The Mitchell Plateau and the Mitchell Falls are spectacular and unique landscapes in Australia and will be the jewels in the crown of the new Kimberley National Park,” the Premier said.
“I am delighted that thanks to this agreement, this extraordinary landscape will now be conserved.”
Mr Barnett said the termination of the Alumina Refinery (Mitchell Plateau) Agreement 1971 would allow more than 175,000 hectares of land on the Mitchell Plateau to be included in the proposed Kimberley National Park, which would extend over more than two million hectares and be surrounded on its coastal boundary by new marine parks.
Premier Colin Barnett last night announced that the Department of Parks and Wildlife had won the Environment category of the 2014 Premier’s Awards for ‘Protecting the nature of the Kimberley’.
The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management were established in 1996 to recognise and reward outstanding performance and achievements in public service to the community.
The winning project is the Landscape Conservation Initiative, which began in 2011 under the Government’s Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy–a bold plan to conserve the region’s natural and cultural values.
The Landscape Conservation Initiative is WA’s largest ever conservation project, unprecedented in its scope and scale, with the Department working with many others to achieve conservation outcomes across the landscape, not just in parks. Partners Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the Kimberley Land Council were also recognised through the Premier’s award.
The Minister for Environment Hon Albert Jacob MLA and the Department of Parks and Wildlife have recognised the amazing efforts of volunteers at the 2014 Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Service Awards. More than 4,300 volunteers contributed around 506,000 hours to Parks and Wildlife projects across WA in 2013-14.