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National park proposal for unused WA land

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Rebecca Gredley

A major parks network in Western Australia would create more than 200 Indigenous ranger jobs and unique tourism opportunities, proponents say.

Under the plan, five million hectares of former pastoral lease properties will be converted into Indigenous ranger-managed national parks.

The plan is backed by groups including Reconciliation WA, Pew Charitable Trusts, 4WD peak body Track Care WA, Conservation Council of WA and Aboriginal ranger organisations.

WA outback manager for Pew Charitable Trusts, David Mackenzie, said the plan would protect an area of WA's outback nearly the size of Tasmania.

"These properties were purchased by the government for conservation 20 years ago due to their high natural and cultural heritage values," he said.

"It's about parks for people, making them accessible so families can visit."

An assessment found that for every dollar invested in the plan, more than $3.70 in value would be created for WA, including $2.30 as a direct benefit to the state government.

All 66 properties are subject to native title claims, and the proposal states the project will only go ahead if the traditional owners agree to it.

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