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The National Park Needs Our Support

Update below from MRBTA Chair, Stuart Hicks, 17th January 2022:

Dear Member,

2022 has sadly begun with more bushfire in the region, this time in the Eagle Bay area.  These fires serve as a stark reminder about the pressures our region’s natural environment faces, and the need for us to better advocate for what is unequivocally our most important asset.

December’s fire in the Boranup Forest was another reminder that the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, extending along the coast from Cape to Cape, is the heart and emblem of our region’s natural environment.  It attracts well over 4 million visitors annually.  Other well-known WA national parks like Kalbarri and Karijini attract little more than one-tenth of these numbers.  Yet somehow we have come to treat the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park more as a backyard than a place of critical environmental, social and cultural value. The meagre public resources that have been applied to the protection and conservation of the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park—the most popular in the State—have been insufficient for the task, and as a result, it is crumbling under the weight of intense and rapidly growing public use.

That is why I am thrilled by the unprecedented way in which leaders from our community have come together following the fires, to develop a comprehensive plan to future-proof our National Park.  Last week, Augusta-Margaret River Shire President Paula Cristoffanini, and I, as co-conveners of the group, presented the Recovery Plan for the Boranup Forest and Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park to the Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC and Jane Kelsbie MLA, and gained their strong support.

As we brace ourselves for what is likely to be another unpredictable 12 months, it is important to remind ourselves of our successes in overcoming the many challenges of the last two years by working together.  We would like to take a moment to recognise this with our rescheduled Member Mingle Jingle, taking place on Thursday 3rd February at the recently relaunched Tonic By the Bay.  Please email our team if you would like to attend.  I look forward to seeing you there.

As always, I welcome hearing your feedback and views by reply email.

Read the National Park Recovery Plan


Stuart Hicks