Walgett landholders share their hard work with the Minister
On Thursday 8 July 2019 the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, the Hon. Matt Kean, visited one of our newest agreement holders in Walgett. The landholders, Greg and Lyn Rummery, gave Minister Kean a tour of their property and showed him their biodiverse woodland, forest and floodplain. Members of the BCT’s Northern Inland team were also there to meet Minister Kean and speak about our involvement in conserving the property’s biodiversity.
Liz Blair, BCT’s Regional Manager for the Northern Inland, said, “the old growth Coolibah Woodland on the floodplain and River Red Gum forests along the river on this property provide an extremely important refuge for native animals. The large number of different-sized tree hollows in the woodland are also home to an incredible diversity of mammals, reptiles, bats and birds.”
The Rummerys have been offered a Conservation Agreement with the BCT after their successful application in the BCT’s North West Plains Conservation Tender. Their property will now be protected in perpetuity (forever), and the Rummerys will receive annual payments for their conservation efforts. As the agreement is on the title of the property, even if the property changes ownership, its protection is maintained, and any new landholders will receive the annual payments.
Landholder Greg Rummery, an agronomist and agricultural consultant, was thrilled about the outcome. “As a landholder, my wife and I can try driving stock on this particular piece of land… but the best outcome here would probably be an environmental outcome and with the BCT we’re actually able to receive payments for that,” he said.
The Rummery’s property is particularly vital in the area due to the current lack of water in the landscape. Liz Blair stated, “in times of severe drought, like the Walgett area is currently experiencing, patches of native vegetation along the banks of the Namoi River act as arteries in the landscape, connecting large patches, providing occasional watering points and cooling the landscape.”
Minister Kean used the opportunity to announce the BCT’s latest tender outcomes from our Conservation Management program and expressed his enthusiasm for our programs and partnerships with landholders.
“The beautiful land I’m on today… is a great example of government working with our farmers to protect our beautiful natural environment,” Minister Kean said.
Images by Colin Elphick