House debates

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Statements by Members

Farrer Electorate: Nimmie Caira

1:41 pm

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to highlight an exciting announcement this week in my electorate of Farrer. The area of Nimmie Caira is 85,000 hectares of internationally and historically significant wetlands on the Murrumbidgee flood plain. When I visited it last year, Nimmie Caira was turning into a dust bowl, becoming run down and overrun by vermin, including wild pigs. The very existence and survival of this area demanded consensus and agreement through multiple partnerships and three levels of government—no easy task.

On Tuesday, the federal agricultural minister reminded us of federal funding of $180 million as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to help rebalance this 50,000-year-old ecosystem. This will allow the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries to reopen publicly-owned land managed by the group, Nature Conservancy, which will coordinate works by the private sector, philanthropists and expert groups. Local councils in Hay, Balranald and Murray River will benefit from improved and rateable land, increased visitor numbers and tourism opportunities. It ticks boxes in Indigenous engagement. And, just as important, 173 gigalitres of water entitlements will be returned to the environment and will secure the future of irrigated agriculture upstream. This is so important for my electorate. As the minister noted on Tuesday, Nimmie Caira presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create new sustainably managed and financed conservation property for the benefit of people and nature.