Bassendean residents rally behind indigeous ranger parks initiative

Arnica Acorn Jekabsons, Nonie Jekabsons, Moss Johnson, Jessica Strauss, Nina Ambrose, Terese Twomey, Cr Paul Bridges, Ann Begg, Ted Bentley support the creation of ranger parks.
Arnica Acorn Jekabsons, Nonie Jekabsons, Moss Johnson, Jessica Strauss, Nina Ambrose, Terese Twomey, Cr Paul Bridges, Ann Begg, Ted Bentley support the creation of ranger parks.

MORE than 120 Bassendean residents are calling for former pastoral stations to be converted into national parks and managed by indigenous rangers.

Residents who supported the Create Ranger Parks initiative presented a postcard to Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly last month.

The Conservation Council of WA, Reconciliation WA, Track Care WA, BirdLife Australia and indigenous organisations local to the proposed parks in the Midwest, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions supported the initiative.

The initiative proposes that five million hectares of former pastoral station land, which were purchased by the State Government 20 years ago, become national parks.

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Bassendean resident and retired teacher Ann Begg said she supported the initiative based on her previous experience in volunteering with Retired Educator Volunteers for Isolated Students Education.

“In the 14 years since I retired as a school teacher, I’ve spent many months on outback stations volunteering as an educator, working with children who study through School of the Air,” she said.

“I’ve seen the difficulties that outback families face living and working in such remote areas and I’ve also seen firsthand the need for restoration of land that’s suffered from the effects of over-grazing for many decades.

“The development of ranger parks on previous grazing properties will give the land a chance to regenerate both in flora and fauna and provide opportunities for young Aboriginal people to reconnect with their land and their culture.”

Ms Begg said the initiative would provide much-needed employment opportunities in communities.