Greens back moves to protect the Fitzroy

The Greens (WA) have reiterated their longstanding opposition to damming the Kimberley's Fitzroy River and backed calls to fix existing barriers to threatened sawfish migrating up the river.

"The Fitzroy, which drains a vast area of the Kimberley, is considered the most important nursery for critically endangered freshwater sawfish, which migrate up to 400 km inland as young," Greens Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple said.

"Apparently this means little to pastoralist Gina Rineheart, who reportedly told an American Chamber of Commerce dinner recently that 99 per cent of the river's water is 'wasted'.

"The Greens have staunchly opposed moves to dam the Fitzroy for the past 15 years and we welcome the McGowan Government’s resistance to moves to dam it for large-scale irrigation this time.

"We also support calls by scientists to for fishways to be built on Camballin Barrage and urgent implementation of a catchment management plan for the Fitzroy in collaboration with Traditional Owners.

"To say that the Fitzroy's water is 'wasted' when it goes out to sea reveals a low level of knowledge about the region.

"Any alteration to freshwater outfall has a corollary effect downstream – for example, on fish stocks and small fry prawn populations in King Sound." 

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