Area the size of almost 29,700 Sydney Cricket Grounds conserved forever

In more great news for the environment, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has protected another 55,220 hectares of land in perpetuity.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said this is the largest parcel of land ever protected through a funded conservation agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT).

“Gayini Nimmie Caira in the State’s south west is one of the most ecologically significant parts of Australia, and at 55,220 hectares, this new conservation area is massive – equivalent to about 29,700 Sydney Cricket Grounds,” Mr Griffin said.

“Through the NSW BCT, we’ve entered into a funded conservation agreement with the owners of the property, the Nari Nari Tribal Council, to help them protect the important biodiversity and cultural values of this part of their property forever.

“Gayini Nimmie Caira hosts internationally significant wetlands and a vast array of threatened and endangered species like the Plains Wanderer, Southern Bell Frog and various water bird species that travel here from far and wide to mate.

“This is fantastic news for the environment because it’s the largest ever area being protected through this kind of conservation agreement, and brings the total amount of private land being protected through the NSW BCT to more than 2.3 million hectares across the State.

“About 70 per cent of Australia’s land is privately owned or managed, which is why conservation agreements like these are so important.”

The total size of the Gayini Nimmie Caira property is 88,000 hectares, between Hay and Balranald in the Murrumbidgee Valley, adjacent to Yanga National Park.

Nari Nari Tribal Council chairperson Jamie Woods said Gayini Nimmie Caira is a rich cultural landscape, supporting Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years.

“Nari Nari Tribal Council is proud to be leading the way in cultural land management, with the announcement of this groundbreaking agreement,” Mr Woods said. 

“We have invested considerable time, knowledge and effort to create a unique agreement with the NSW BCT, putting the protection of culture and country at the centre of the work we do.

“There are footprints across Gayini Nimmie Caira where Aboriginal people used targeted interventions to promote the productivity of the land, supporting fish, bird and vegetation growth.”

Minister Griffin launched the BCT’s co-investment partnership plans program in 2022, with the aim of further accelerating private land conservation efforts. 

This agreement with Nari Nari Tribal Council is the first co-investment partnership under those plans, complemented financially by The Nature Conservancy.

BCT Chairperson Niall Blair said this investment protects Gayini Nimmie Caira for conservation and cultural outcomes now and into the future.

“The NSW BCT is proud to play such a critical role in protecting the State’s biodiversity through annual payments, in perpetuity, to Nari Nari Tribal Council,” Mr Blair said.

Since establishing the NSW BCT in 2017, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $70 million a year, or $350 million over five years, for private land conservation across the State.

This is a record investment in conservation efforts for NSW and has so far helped to protect at least 122 threatened species and 22 threatened ecological communities.