The Pilbara Collaboration Group (PCG) is made up of six not-for-profit groups that undertake or have an interest in natural resource management (NRM) activities in the Pilbara and can provide a support to pastoral and Indigenous land managers. The group’s focus areas include, but are not limited to, weed and feral animal control, fire, threatened species management, property planning, restoration and rangelands rehydration work, rangelands self-monitoring and education and capacity building.

The group, whilst not an incorporated body, was made up of like-minded members and delivered through the Kimberley Pilbara Cattleman’s Association. The KPCA received funding through the WA State Government Natural Resource Management Program Community Capability Grants and supported by Royalties for Regions to lead the coordination of the PCG from early 2018 through to June 2019.

As part of the State NRM Project funding received, the KPCA coordinated the development and release of two tools to help pastoralists and other groups to identify plant species in the Pilbara and better monitor rangelands condition. More specifically, the tools include a new and improved edition of “Pasture Identification – A Field Guide for the Pilbara” plus the release of the Pilbara adaptation of Gascoyne Catchment Group’s Rangelands Monitoring App (see below for further information).

Adaptation of Gascoyne Catchments Group Rangelands Monitoring App for Use by Pilbara Pastoralists

Another great initiative that has been supported by the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association, on behalf of the PCG, is the adaptation of the Gascoyne Catchment Group’s Rangelands Monitoring App for use by Pilbara pastoralists. The Rangelands Monitoring Tool is an app that was designed by pastoralists for pastoralists.  As such it is a user-friendly tool that allows pastoralists to easily assess their monitoring sites, setting a benchmark score to compare against on an annual or as needs basis.

The app is now fully functioning on the Apple store and available to the PiIbara and Gascoyne regions. Initial development support from Rangelands NRM through the National Landcare Program has been the catalyst in allowing this app to be developed and in the process, encourage strong alliances between the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions.

Further information is also available on the Gascoyne Catchments Group website:

2019 Revised/Updated Pilbara Pasture ID Guide

Following its initial development and publication in 2014 by Greening Australia, a revised edition of the ‘Pasture Identification – A field guide for the Pilbara’ was released in 2019 through KPCA as part of the State NRM funded PCG Project. With 9 new species added it will assist Pilbara pastoralists to manage their grazing pastures. The guide was initially produced as part of the Pilbara Corridors project and was reprinted in 2019 by the Kimberley Pilbara Cattleman’s Association as part of the Pilbara Collaboration Project, a partnership between pastoralist, NRM groups and Government.

The Pilbara Collaboration Project has been funded by the WA State Government Natural Resource Management Program. Written by Western Australia’s arid shrubland plant guru Andrew Mitchell and Mary-Anne Clunies-Ross, the guide assists in the identification of different types of native pasture species readily grazed by their cattle such as various herbs, grasses and shrubs. Additionally it gives pastoralists information on the role different plants play in the ecosystem, how to tell if the pasture is in good condition or not, information around managing their pastures, including managing spinifex to bring tussock grasslands as well as information on weeds and poisonous plants.

Pilbara Collaboration Group Members

Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association

The KPCA was the driving force behind the Pilbara Collaboration Group. Through the Pilbara Manager, Pip Short, KPCA was able to build relationships between the different NRM Groups in the Pilbara to increase collaboration, coordination and improve on-ground outcomes. Furthermore, we wish to continue to build relationships between pastoralists and the NRM groups to ensure better and more coordinated land management outcomes which in turn lead to better production outcomes for a more profitable and sustainable pastoral industry.

Rangelands NRM

Rangelands NRM (RNRM) works in the outback ‘rangelands’ of WA with people who manage the land. RNRM help people look after the community’s natural resources including plants, animals, and the environment in which they live.

RNRM Connect by bringing different land managers together, such as pastoralists, ranger groups, government agencies, industry and community groups.

RNRM Coordinate by seeking ways to maximise results and more can be achieved on the ground through coordination of effort and resources.

RNRM Deliver by working with local people and organisations to deliver on-ground results. We help our partners look after threatened species, reduce weeds and animal pests, and manage fire across the landscape. RNRM assist pastoralists to improve their grazing practices, reduce erosion and make the most of water in the landscape and undertake Ecologically Sustainable Rangelands Management Plans (ESRMs). The ESRM planning process aims to improve the profitability of rangeland businesses through promoting improved grazing systems, enterprise productivity, resource sustainability and nature conservation. RNRM have undertaken 18 ESRMs in the Pilbara so far.

Rangelands NRM’s current Pilbara priority areas are pastoral/desert interface, the Fortescue River/Catchment and Fortescue Marsh.

Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee

The Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee (PMMC) is a non- profit, non-government community group established in 2001 to coordinate effective and efficient declared weed management with all land managers in the Pilbara Region. PMMC’s membership includes 20 active members representing all key stakeholders and the committee is led by a full time, regionally based Project Manager. The PMMC has a diverse role which includes:

  • Coordinating, delivering and managing on-ground declared weed control programs across multiple tenure types in the Pilbara region;
  • Participating in and leading research to support best practice weed management; and
  • Advocating, educating and resourcing declared weed management within broader land management programs with a range of Pastoral, biodiversity and cultural values.

Pilbara Regional Biosecurity Group

The Pilbara Regional Biosecurity Group (PRBG) is a not for profit association, providing declared pest control programs for land managers, particularly in the pastoral zone. The PRBG’s primary purpose is the control of declared pests using funding from Declared Pest Rates paid by pastoral leaseholders. These Declared Pest Rates funds are matched dollar for dollar by the WA Government to reflect the public benefit of controlling declared pest animals and weeds. The PRBG aims to:

  • Foster the control of declared pests throughout the Pilbara, via the formulation, implementation and review of appropriate management plans and programs;
  • Encourage integration, coordination, and general collaboration of Pilbara stakeholders in pest management matters; and
  • Promote the adoption of best practice invasive species control throughout the area.

Greening Australia

Greening Australia (GA) is an environmental non-for-profit organisation that works to return life to landscapes and restore balance to the natural environment in ways that work for communities, economies and nature.  GA works collaboratively across catchments and regions in the highest priority locations to achieve impact at scale.  GA’s work is science-led and is committed to converting the latest technical plans into practical action on-the-ground in partnership with local communities and landholders.  In the Pilbara, GA plans, guides, implements and monitors environmental management projects such as ecological restoration, threatened species conservation, and weed, fire and predator management.  GA also partners with pastoralists and Aboriginal groups and local communities to develop strategies, build skills and increase employment opportunities associated with on-ground environmental management.

Gascoyne Catchments Group

Gascoyne Catchments Group (GCG) mission is to develop an ecologically sustainable, profitable and respected pastoral industry that supports an adaptive and vibrant community. The GCG is working towards improving rangeland condition and increasing profitability within the Gascoyne catchments.  We are doing this through strategic regional planning, developing industry and regional leadership, delivering projects to test ideas and innovations, and by working with individual landholders. The GCG is made up of members from the Lyndon, Upper Gascoyne and Gascoyne Wooramel Land Conservation District Committees. GCG’s current projects include:

  • The Rangelands Monitoring tool which is an iPhone/iPad app, self-assessment tool developed to collect specific and consistent information at property and regional scale to document the historic and presently occurring change in the rangeland condition throughout the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions;
  • The Bullseye Project which aims to help pastoral businesses and those further along the supply chain to collaborate to better deliver the specific beef and cattle products required by current and emerging markets; and
  • The Diet ID Project which test the DNA barcoding of dung samples to identify the plants selected in the diet of rangelands cattle.