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Helena and Aurora Range to be protected for future generations

IMAGE: Jenita Enevoldsen, State Director of The Wilderness Society WA, overlooking the Helena Aurora Range | Paul Pitchugin

Conservation and recreation groups join eminent scientists and the Yilgarn community to welcome the McGowan Government’s decision that the Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin) is too precious to mine, and look forward to it being protected forever in a National Park.

Jenita Enevoldsen, State Director of The Wilderness Society WA, said: “After decades of recommendations to protect the range, we welcome Labor’s decision to rule out mining from the jewel in the crown of the Great Western Woodlands. We also welcome the intention to create the Helena Aurora Range National Park, in partnership with the Kalamaia Kapurn Traditional Owners, to protect this biodiverse and cultural asset in perpetuity.

“This announcement will be remembered as a significant moment in WA’s history—securing the protection of our unique biodiversity asset, the Helena Aurora Range.”

Professor Lyn Beazley, OA, said: “The Helena Aurora represents an area of outstanding biodiversity values that are globally unique and irreplaceable. This announcement is a wonderful opportunity for ecotourism jobs within a geoheritage and biodiversity hotspot.”

The Wildflower Society of Western Australia spokesman Brian Moyle said: “We congratulate Stephen Dawson, Minister for the Environment, for saving the Helena and Aurora Range from mining that would have destroyed its landform and biodiversity values. We now look forward to it being protected for future generations.”

Shapelle McNee, founder of the Helena Aurora Range Advocates, said: “We can all be proud of this decision to not mine the Helena and Aurora Range, as it’s such a special part of our natural and cultural heritage in Western Australia. It has taken great strength and conviction to reach this point.”

Carl Erbrich, spokesperson for the WA Family Bushwalking Group, said: “This is really fantastic news. I look forward to the WA Government pushing forward rapidly on a national park, which will allow the wonderful recreational potential of the range to be fully promoted to all Australians.”

Mark Henryon, Spokesperson for Birdlife WA, said: “This outcome is the result of the sustained work over many years by many people—including Traditional Owners, scientists and naturalists, current and former members of Parliament, local residents, artists, conservation and recreation groups. We thank them all.”

Ex-Shire President of the Yilgarn Region, Romolo Patroni, said: “We look forward to boosting our regional economy through ecotourism, with sustainable jobs."


For more information or further comment, please contact:

  • Jenita Enevoldsen: 0405 941 500
  • Lyn Beazley: 0407 984 953
  • Brian Moyle: 0427 770 579
  • Shapelle McNee: 0439 668 693
  • Carl Erbrich: 0427 931 721
  • Mark Henryon: 0450 458 849
  • Romolo Patroni: 0428 401 014
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