Update August 2020
Update for the proposed Helena Aurora National Park within the initiative - Plan for Our Parks
Within the initiative, Plan for Our Parks, there's a "potential for a Helena Aurora National Park". That's Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin! Which is awesome.
As of February 2019 we found out that a Helena and Aurora Range was included in the WA government's initiative Plan for Our Parks. The intention is to add 5 million hectares to the WA conservation estate in the form of new national parks, marine parks and some additions to existing national parks and other conservation reserves. This is long overdue in WA. There is lots of information about this plan on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction's website (DBCA website - Plan for Our Parks).
During 2019, the DBCA was consulting with - Traditional Owners, the resource sector, local government authorities, neighbours, conservation groups, commercial and recreational fishers - about the proposed additions to the conservation estate. We had a meeting with the DBCA in July 2019 to catch up on what was happening, provide our support and contribute our own views and ideas.
The boundary for the proposed Helena Aurora National Park has been finalised ... though not yet been formerly announced by the WA government. We can let you know, that it includes not only Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin - it includes Mt Manning Range as well! This is a great outcome as it means that potentially, not just one but two BIF ranges will be protected from mining in the Yilgarn. Mount Manning Range is ~50km north of Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin.
Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin and Mount Manning Range are two of six significant BIF ranges in the Yilgarn. Of these six BIF ranges, Koolyanobbing Range, Mt Jackson Range and Windarling Range are currently being mined. The sixth significant BIF range, Die Hardy Range, has had some mining activity, however, there is also an area that was proposed to be a Class A reserve back in 2010 (this area supports a rare, endemic plant, Tetratheca paynterae subsp. cremnobata).
The intended outcomes, Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin and Mount Manning Range protected within a National Park, and even part of the Die Hardy Range protected within a Class A reserve would be very timely for the BIF ranges in the Yilgarn.
The next stage in the creation of the proposed Helena Aurora National Park is the development of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) between the Traditional Owners and the DBCA on behalf of the State government of WA.
As far as we know, although the Traditional Owners have been contacted and a successful meeting held in March 2020, the negotiations have yet to be begun for the ILUA. We hope that the negotiations will begin in the very near future.