Announced today, the Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara National Park and the Lake Carnegie nature reserve have been created as part of the State Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative.
Totalling over 800,000 hectares, the reserves – jointly managed by Tarlka Matuwa Piarku Aboriginal Corporation and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions– aim to protect the biodiversity of the region, as well as Martu Aboriginal cultural heritage. This marks the largest agreement for the creation of a new jointly managed and jointly vested conservation estate ever reached in the state, with the hope of greater on Country employment and economic development opportunities for Traditional Owners.
“Healthy partnerships will help balance Martu and Western knowledge of land management. This will ensure all levels of management and implementations are economically and environmentally sustainable,” said a spokesperson for Tarlka Matuwa Piarku Aboriginal Corporation.
Located in the Goldfields, the Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara National Park was purchased as two pastoral leases by the State Government over 20 years ago. A dedicated Indigenous Protected Area, the park is home to over 480 plant species, and the central point of one of Australia’s largest threatened animal translocation projects.
The Indigenous Land Use Agreement, signed in October 2022, created the largest exclusive possession native title agreement in the country.
Believed to be home to the elusive and critically endangered Night parrot Lake Carnegie is an integral wetlands for both biodiversity and its cultural significance to Martu Aboriginal people.
“We are entering a new chapter in joint management where Martu law and culture have been practised and stories told through the generations,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti.
Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster added: “It’s great to acknowledge this area, which is rich in cultural history and this joint management will make sure the land is protected now and into the future.”
Environment Minister Reece Whitby added: “These reserves contribute 16 per cent to the overall Plan for Our Parks target of five million hectares. It’s great to see the positive impact the initiative is having in protecting our State’s vast and unique landscapes.”