Building Partnerships with Fitzroy River Communities


Building Partnerships with Fitzroy River Communities Post COVID-19

Media Release

The Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council, an alliance of Traditional Owner groups in the Fitzroy River catchment in the Kimberley, congratulates the Western Australian Government’ on their rapid responses to COVID 19. On Health advice the most important and critical first step for government was to protect the most at-risk people in the State who were and are remote Indigenous people in remote communities.

Fast forward 3rd June 2020 Australia is now officially in Recession the first time in 29 years. The outcome of a bipartisan approach for government valuing the health and wellbeing of people by implementing unheard of short-term financial assistance to those struggling financially because of the lock down. Could this be the start to a ‘Living Wage for all Australians?’

According to Dr Anne Poelina, Chair of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council “It is hoped that as Australia sets directions to travel out of the Recession, which will probably get worse before it gets better.  We acknowledge the leadership of the European Union and other significant economies to transition to a new economy where biodiversity and natural environments are vital to preventing future pandemics, and reinvigorating communities and economies. We must not lose the learnings forced upon us during the pandemic”. 

The Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council has urged State and Federal Governments to reject plans and withhold proposed multibillion dollar government subsidies for new pipelines to take water and gas away from the region and instead invest into Australia’s future economies that have the support of local communities. “Building pipelines across Australia is not the most efficient method of  transporting water and gas when the cost of subsidies and the damage to the environment alongside the health of local people their cultures and livelihoods and the pastoral, tourism and fishing industries that rely on the Fitzroy River are considered. We encourage managers to take a precautionary approach to water flow to achieve water justice” Dr Poelina said.

“Traditional Owners of the Fitzroy River are in talks with the WA State Government regarding the future of the River including responsible environmental management and economic development ensure local prosperity that benefit local people  whilst ensuring the River is protected,” said Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council Chair Dr Anne Poelina.

Contact: Dr Anne Poelina, Chair, Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council
Mobile: 0408 922 155

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