The Nimmie-Caira Project
Celebrating a successful partnership
Gayini (Nimmie-Caira) was purchased in 2013 under an agreement between the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) governments. In 2017, a consortium led by The Nature Conservancy was successful in tendering for the future management of the 86,000 hectares of important, internationally significant Murrumbidgee floodplain in southern NSW.
The consortium is a once-in-a-generation opportunity where a sustainably managed property is fiscally sound and is conserved for the benefit of people and nature. The future management of the property will focus on three main areas of equal importance:
- Environmental protection
- Indigenous engagement and participation
- Sustainable development.
Delivered on time and under budget
The Nimmie-Caira project was a $180 million significant water saving project for NSW, and particularly for the Murrumbidgee region.
The project was completed in 2019 on time and under budget.
The property is 84,417 ha situated in the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee River floodplain (the Lowbidgee) between Maude and Balranald, South Western NSW. It is a vital component the Lowbidgee being the largest remaining area of wetlands in the Murrumbidgee Valley.
The project balances environmental and Aboriginal cultural heritage protection with commercial use, and by doing so creates an asset for the local community and the Murray Darling Basin.
The five major components to this project included:
- Land and water purchase. The project purchased 19 properties on the Nimmie-Caira floodplain, together with their share of the Lowbidgee Supplementary Water Entitlement (381,000 shares).
- Water Savings to 'Bridge the Gap'. Water entitlement purchased from landholders was transferred to the Commonwealth to help 'bridge the gap' to meeting Sustainable Diversion Limits.
- Environmental Watering Plan. Documents the demand for environmental water within and beyond the project area.
- Long Term Land Management and Water Management Plan. Outlines how the area will be managed into the future with some land managed for Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental values and other land managed for commercial use.
- Reconfiguring the water delivery infrastructure. Enhancing the delivery of environmental water to lands identified as having high ecological value.
The Nature Conservancy
Following a successful tender process, a consortium led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) now controls the future stewardship of Nimmie-Caira.
Through the Land and Water Management Plan, the TNC is delivering a sustainably managed and financed conservation property, balancing environmental, economic and sustainability outcomes for managing land and water resources at the site. Importantly, they are delivering an asset for the long-term benefit of the local community and Aboriginal groups.
TNC is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. The consortium for Nimmie-Caira includes the Nari Nari Tribal Council, the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group and the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of NSW.
The NSW Government are working with the TNC in perpetuity to ensure the long-term Land and Water Management Plan objectives are monitored, evaluated and ultimately met.
Read the media release from Minister Blair
Read the media release and fact sheet from The Nature Conservancy
Nimmie-Caira area as part of the Lowbidgee
Click on the map below to download a high resolution version.