Posted October 05, 2018 07:15:04 Indigenous Australians in Western Australia are calling for an Indigenous community-based protected area in their backyards, after being denied the opportunity to apply for the zone, despite the proposed law.
Key points:The proposed ‘grasslands ecological protection zone’ would allow Indigenous Australians to cultivate, harvest, and use vegetation and animal habitats on land in the ‘wilderness’ of the bushThe proposed law also gives farmers and landowners greater control over their own land, as well as access to public lands and parksThe proposed legislation is due to be debated in the Upper House of Parliament this monthThe area would be managed by a local community-driven group called the Ecological Protection Zone (EPZ), and the area would have “wilderness” and “wildlife” sections, with “wild life” to be restricted to areas where people would not be allowed to graze, hunt, or otherwise disturb vegetation and wildlife.
Key Points:The ‘grassfield’ section of the proposed ‘ecological’ zone would be a place where Indigenous people could cultivate, collect, harvest and use flora and fauna, and other non-human habitatsThe group, which will also be able to apply to the state’s Department of Environment, says the plan is not in the national interestThe proposed EPZ, known as the ‘grassfields’ section, would be located on lands in the bush in the Kimberley and the Galilee regions of Western Australia, which were previously under the jurisdiction of the Indigenous Land Council of Australia.
In an email to ABC News, the group’s director of operations, Lisa Kwan, said the plan was not in line with the “environmentally sustainable, economically sustainable and ecologically sensitive landscape” that the state needed to be.
“There is a strong belief in Western Australians that we can and should be stewards of the natural resources that exist within the Kimberleys and the adjacent Galilees,” Ms Kwan said.
“This is something that our indigenous peoples have long recognised as part of our cultural heritage, and they have fought for and fought for this in a very long time.”
Ms Kwan did not specify what areas the proposed section would cover, but said it would allow Aboriginal people to “establish their own small, protected areas that they can use as they wish”.
“It is the most significant development of the EPZ and it’s something that we would be pleased to have implemented and have the support of the WA Government,” she said.
The ‘wildlife’ section would be the “biggest development of [the EPZ] and the most exciting development in the community for many reasons”.
“We believe the ‘Wildlife’ Section is the first step in the Indigenous community’s right to establish their own habitat in the wilderness,” Ms Kaan said.
Topics:environment,environmental-policy,environment-and-energy,community-and/or-community-organisations,people,law-crime-and‑justice,australiaFirst posted October 05; updated October 05:16:46This story has been updated with information from Ms Kaen’s statement.
Topics in this story:ecology,environment,government-and-(parties) foram,wa,aurelton-3957,walesFirst posted September 24, 2018 09:43:27