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Fitzroy Catchment stakeholders seek optimal development

Group particpants at the workshop

[Jan-Feb 2017]

Two workshops have recently been held to explore opportunities to optimise potential interest and investment in the Fitzroy Catchment in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Major activity is being seen in pastoral enterprises, environmental conservation programs, research projects, and state government water and economic development initiatives.

Rangelands NRM Kimberley Program Manager, Grey Mackay, who organised the meetings of Fitzroy stakeholders, said it was vital to ensure initiatives follow a sustainable pathway and are grounded in best practice land stewardship.

He said history had demonstrated that significant investment alone would not bring about sustainable change to the region.

“Developments in this nationally and internationally significant area should be socially and economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable, so we are bringing people together to encourage a collective approach and networks that can support this,” Mr Mackay said.

The first meeting was held in Perth in September, for decision-makers based there, and was followed up with a meeting of regional stakeholders in Broome.

The meetings provided a forum for stakeholders to better understand the diverse interests in the Fitzroy and begin to find some common ground.

“Participants identified some obvious opportunities, but also barriers to collaboration,” he said.

Both groups expressed a willingness to continue conversations with the aim of keeping informed and working better in the Fitzroy. Two workshops are planned for the end of March.

“Only through an inclusive, triple-bottom- line approach, will we see lasting positive change in the Fitzroy that is driven and supported by community,” Mr Mackay said.

Image: Group particpants at the workshop (Grey Mackay)