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Kimberley fire work recognised in resilience awards

A project facilitated by Rangelands NRM have been presented with the Resilient Australia Award in recognition of mitigating late season wildfires through a whole of community approach.

Late Season Wildfire devastates the country, impacts biodiversity and significantly threatens life and property on an annual basis.

Rangelands NRM Northern Program Manager Grey Mackay said effort has been taken over recent years to increase the awareness and capacity of land managers to manage fire.

“This project takes the step to bring individuals and community groups—including Indigenous Rangers, State Government Agencies and pastoral entities—together to seize opportunities to reduce the occurrence of late season wildfire on the Dampier Peninsula.

Mr Mackay said Rangelands NRM has brought people together around a common theme of fire, so they can coordinate efforts and learn and share from each other.

“Working together, sharing burn plans and identifying critical spots has resulted in a more coordinated early season burn program,” Mr Grey said.

The working group met regularly to coordinate effort.

“Through holding a series of workshops to ensure good community engagement, we took steps towards developing a single framework to address fire mitigation and management on the Peninsula,”

“That is, closing the gap between Pastoral, Indigenous and environmental land managers to ensure a unified voice addressing fire on the Peninsula.”

Land managers and agencies who were involved include: Bardi Jawi, Nyul Nyul, Yawuru Rangers; Country Downs, Yeda / Mt Jowlaenga and Roebuck Plains stations; and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions (DBCA), Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT), Shire of Broome, Kimberley Land Council (KLC) and Environs Kimberley.

The project was made possible through funding from the Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) AWARE (All West Australians Reducing Emergencies) Program.

The Resilient Australia Awards started in 2000 and is a national program that recognises individuals, groups or organisations that demonstrate excellence and innovation in projects and initiatives that support communities to be better prepared and more disaster resilient.

The WA finals were held on 1 November at University Club, UWA.

Rangelands NRM were awarded the ‘Resilient Australia Community Award’.

The Western Australian 2017 winners were from Rangelands NRM and the City of Mandurah Local Government. The City of Mandurah ‘Equi-Evac Network Centre’ project was shortlisted as a national finalist and on 23 November 2017, in a ceremony in Sydney, was successful in winning the National Award.

Image: L-R: Dr Ron Edwards with Rangelands NRM Program Leader Grey Mackay (Northern Rangelands) and Director Mark Batty (©OEM).