Restoration of major wetland

By Country News

University of NSW scientists are members of a group chosen by the NSW Government to restore one of the most important wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair announced a consortium — led by The Nature Conservancy and including the UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science — was the successful candidate for future stewardship of the Nimmie-Caira system, an 85000ha area of the Murrumbidgee floodplain in southern NSW.

The consortium also includes the Nari Nari Tribal Council and the Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group.

‘‘Nimmie-Caira is a magnificent eco-system, with outstanding biodiversity,’’ UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science director Richard Kingsford said.

‘‘We are extremely excited to be part of this vital, high-impact restoration project, which involves environmental conservation, collaboration with local Aboriginal communities, as well as sustainable development and agricultural production,’’ Professor Kingsford said.

The federal and NSW governments originally bought-back the land and water rights for this extensive wetland, including 11 farms and their water rights along the Murrumbidgee River, in 2013 in a project costing $180million.

This was the largest water buyback under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, designed to return 137Gl of water a year to the wetlands.