Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (WA State Government)
Thundelarra Conservation Estate
The WA Government announced the Plan for Our Parks initiative in 2019 which aimed to create five million hectares of new national and marine parks and conservation reserves across WA. It is under this that Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) would like all new land and waters managed under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984, which might include:
new standalone areas of national park, conservation park, nature reserve or marine park;
additional areas of land that can be added to existing national park, conservation parks or nature reserves;
existing parks and reserves may also be considered where there is an interest by Traditional Owner and resources are available to joint manage.
So far, work has progressed towards creating new land areas on Badimia barna under these conditions: Plan for Our Parks milestone as new Mid-West reserves created | Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (dbca.wa.gov.au)
In summary, key changes on Badimia barna are:
Barnabinmah: land formerly part of pastoral lease Burnerbinmah, is now a new standalone conservation park know as Barnabinmah Conservation Park
Thundelarra: land formerly part of pastoral lease Thundelarra, is now a new standalone conservation park known as Thundelarra Conservation Park;
Biluny Wells: land formerley part of pastoral lease White Wells, is now a new standalone nature reserve known as Biluny Wells Nature Reserve;
Lakeside (2): two parcels of land formerly part of pastoral lease Lakeside, are now a new standalone conservation park known as Lakeside Conservation Park and a new national park known as Lakeside National Park;
Gagalargu: formerly unallocated Crown land on Kirkalocka station, is now a new standalone nature reserve known as Gagalargu Nature Reserve.
The total combined land mass of these conservation parks, nature reserves and a national park spans more than 114,000 hectares!
These reserves are valued not only for the Badimia culture and heritage values, but also have pastoral heritage value and in these diverse landscapes there are threatened species and significant biodiversity that can now be preserved.
BBBAC are currently working with DBCA on a Joint Management Agreement (JMA) and Plan (JMP) which are pretty big pieces of work and take time to develop because they work in with the Governments legislation and balancing the cultural and heritage values and interests of Badimia people AND need to be rolled out across many years.
An informal Joint Management Body has been meeting across the last year, as ongoing considerations have to be made about joint management objectives - what is a key goal? and strategies – how are we going to achieve that goal together?
The benefits to joint management include:
providing legal protections for barna;
integrating Traditional Owner ecological knowledge with DBCA conservation science and management;
identifying and protecting Traditional Owner cultural values;
assisting Traditional Owners get back on barna and there are opportunities for employment.
Eventually, there will be a Joint Management Body made up of Badimia members and DBCA staff members, who will meet regularly to make decisions about the conservation estate.
When reviewing their partnership with DBCA, the BBBAC have noted alignments with their Strategic Plan and Healthy Country Plan. Below is a brief snapshot of their journey so far.
Badimia Elders, Directors and Members have demonstrated good governance through commitment to the project and the long JMA/JMP drafting processes. Their commitment has ensured a strong Badimia voice in asserting an interest in barna and a willingness to share – where appropriate – cultural knowledge. There was also an opportunity to support jobs towards sustainability by supporting the recruitment and placement of Badimia Rangers, which has been a huge achievement.
All of this work is for strong Badimia kids, who will see there is an amazing future working on barna.
This project supports most Healthy Country targets, such as Badimia culture and cultural places and Badimia people, by having Elders on site when out on barna and at the table – discussing land access, land use and land management, and taking ownership of cultural sites and knowledge. There will be the opportunity to monitor the Hills, Breakaways, Water places, Plants and Animals.
The work on the Thundelarra Conservation Estate supports healthy country and culture and has strong links to the Healthy Country Plan.