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Project: Lower Murrumbidgee – Gayini Nimmie-Caira, NSW

The Gayini Nimmie-Caira property is approximately 84,000 hectares of freehold land covering open lignum floodplain in the lower Murrumbidgee Valley between Hay and Balranald, making it one of the largest single private holdings in the Riverina bioregion. The area is unique in containing large areas of continuous lignum through key floodways which support nationally-significant colonial nesting waterbird rookeries. The Lower Bidgee wetland system is the largest wetland in the Murrumbidgee Valley, and is listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia. It contains river redgum and black box forests and woodlands, as well as grasslands and chenopod shrublands, and is also home to a range of threatened species, including the largest known population of the endangered southern bell frog in NSW.

Gayini Nimmie-Caira is culturally rich as it was home to the Nari Nari people for over 60000 years. We are now working with the Nari Nari to ensure significant areas of occupation across the area are protected, maintain and enhanced.

Project purpose:

Project timeline:

Our vision is that nature at Gayini Nimmie-Caira thrives, and that the traditional peoples of Gayini Nimmie-Caira heal its lands and waters. In return, Gayini Nimmie-Caira heals its people, so they can enjoy culturally, socially and economically sustainable and fulfilling lives.

10 years and beyond

Our approach

A consortium of partners will lead the rehabilitation and rejuvenation of Gayini Nimmie-Caira. Our goal is for Gayini Nimmie-Caira to be an exemplar of Indigenous-led, culture-based enterprise that sustains healthy Country, responsible agriculture, education, research and independent Indigenous livelihoods.  The consortium brings together leading science and conservation, Traditional Knowledge, community partnerships, and a long history of sustainable agriculture to deliver a world’s best approach to the holistic management of land and water at Gayini Nimmie-Caira.  A Land and Water Management Plan has been developed to guide activities over the next 10 years.

Outcomes

The overarching land and water management objectives for the Gayini Nimmie-Caira are to:

  • protect, maintain and enhance environmental values such as floodplain vegetation, bird habitat and southern bell frog populations
  • protect, maintain and enhance Aboriginal Cultural Heritage values 
  • create economic value from Gayini Nimmie-Caira without compromising environmental and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage objectives.
Smoking ceremony to mark the handover of Gayini Nimmie -Caira.
River red gums on floodplain at Gayini Nimmie Caira.
Black box woodland at Gayini Nimmie Caira.
Water flowing across the Gayini Nimmie-Caira floodplain.

In 2019, we successfully gained funding from the Save our Species program of the NSW Environmental Trust to save the Australian Painted Snipe & other wetland dependent threatened species in Gayini Nimmie-Caira wetlands.

This project aims to  protect and conserve the Australian Painted Snipe and other threatened wetland  dependent species, including the Freckled Duck, Blue-billed Duck and Australasian Bittern across the Murrumbidgee landscape. To address critical threats, this project will identify and implement, a water  regime for  three key wetland sites in the Gayini Nimmie-Caira floodplain, which will result in improved wetland habitat for successful breeding and fledging. Land management will be improved through destruction of pests such as pigs and foxes that destroy nests and prey on eggs and young.

The program is being funded  by the NSW Government through a partnership between the Saving our Species program and the Environmental Trust.

Australian painted-snipe ©Chris Tzaros. Birds, Bush and Beyond.
Freckled Duck ©Chris Tzaros, Birds Bush and Beyond
Blue-billed Duck ©Chris Tzaros. Birds, Bush and Beyond.
Australasian Bittern ©Chris Tzaros. Birds, Bush and Beyond.

Our Partners:

For more details, please contact:

Deborah Nias, Chief Executive Officer
📞 0417 287 651
✉️ deb.nias@mdwwg.com.au