Some of NSW’s most significant wetlands will be transferred to the world’s largest conservation organisation, which will work to conserve ‘Nimmie-Caira’, the iconic former irrigation property in the state’s south-west.
Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair today announced that after a rigorous tender process, a consortium led by The Nature Conservancy will deliver NSW’s vision for the $180 million Nimmie-Caira water saving project.
Both the Commonwealth and NSW Governments believe the Conservancy will provide an innovative partnership between the private sector, philanthropists, non-government expert groups and indigenous communities.
Mr Blair said the project demonstrates a commitment to meet environmental water targets for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan while providing long-term benefits to the wetlands in the Lower Murrumbidgee floodplain.
“It balances environmental and Aboriginal cultural heritage, along with commercial use, to create an asset that will support economic activity in the community for many years to come,” Mr Blair said.
“This showcases NSW as a leader in opening up publicly-owned land to be enjoyed by the community for generations to come.
“The proponents of this project will be working closely with the local indigenous community to ensure their continued cultural connection to the land.
“It will also engage with landowners and the wider agricultural industry to jointly manage pests and continue the area’s commercial viability.”
Country Director for The Nature Conservancy in Australia, Rich Gilmore said the future management of the property will focus on three main areas of equal importance – environmental protection, indigenous engagement and participation & sustainable agricultural development.
“We’re thrilled the NSW Government supports our vision for protecting biodiversity, Aboriginal cultural values and demonstrating exemplary agricultural production, education and scientific research.”