Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has announced the creation of new conservation reserves in the Mid-West, as part of the ground-breaking Plan for Our Parks initiative.
The five Badimia conservation reserves comprise parts of two former pastoral leases, Lakeside and Burnerbinmah, that were previously purchased by the State Government for conservation, and unallocated Crown land at Kirkalocka and White Wells.
Spanning more than 114,000 hectares, the reserves are located on Badimia country, with the Badimia traditional owners working collaboratively with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Parks and Wildlife Service to create the reserves.
The reserves contain multiple Aboriginal sites and significant cultural and pastoral heritage values. The varied landscape provides habitat for 563 flora species and 162 fauna species, including many threatened and priority species, and is home to significant wetlands. The area is recognised for its rich wildflower displays in spring.
The reserves are in under-represented bioregions in Western Australia’s reserve system. Protecting these areas through reservation will increase representation in the Western Murchison, Eastern Murchison, Tallering, and Merredin IBRA subregions.
Proposed Aboriginal names for the reserves are being considered in collaboration with the Badimia traditional owners.
Plan for Our Parks was announced by the McGowan Government in 2019, with the aim to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves across Western Australia over five years.
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“I am proud that the McGowan Government is creating a network of new national and marine parks and reserves for the benefit of all Western Australians.
“The State Government’s partnerships with many Aboriginal traditional owner groups are going from strength to strength, as we continue to progress agreements and joint management partnerships under Plan for Our Parks.
“The creation of the Badimia reserves provides us with an opportunity to develop an enduring and positive partnership with the Badimia traditional owners.
“While road access to many of the areas is limited, there is potential to establish nature-based and cultural-based tourism opportunities in the future while ensuring the unique natural values of the land are preserved for future generations.”