One of the first Indigenous Land Use Agreements under the State Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative will see a national park in the Gascoyne grow by 270,000ha. The expansion of Kennedy Range National Park, 240km east of Carnarvon, as well as the newly created Pimbee National Park, have increased Western Australia’s conservation estate by 270,000ha. It has added 5.4 per cent of the five million hectares the State Government is aiming to protect under the Plan for Our Parks initiative. The historic agreement also includes One Tree Point and Chinaman’s Pool nature reserves in Carnarvon. Four full-time Yinggarda rangers will be hired as part of the agreement, with the State Government to provide housing for the workers and fund an office and depot in the Gascoyne Junction, near the conservation estate, where the rangers can work on country. The parks will be jointly managed and vested by the Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation and State Government. Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation director Kath Ryan said the joint management with the State Government was a great opportunity and looked forward to working together. “This is a significant place, so it’s about letting the younger generation and others know, through our stories, what is really special to us,” she said. Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the area was important to traditional owners, but it was also important for biodiversity, as it was home to more than 400 native plant species and more than 150 animal species. “It’s valued country by Indigenous local communities, but it also has amazing conservation value — species of plants and animals that you rarely see anywhere else in Australia,” he said. “It’s a very significant place and it’s a place worth protecting.” Lands Minister John Carey said joint management empowered traditional owners to be able to manage and care for their country. “This recognises the skills, the expertise, the connection they’ve had to caring for country over tens of thousands of years,” he said.