In July last year, the Australian government committed to formal protection of 30% of Australia’s land and 30% of Australia’s oceans by 2030. This goal received a recent boost with the addition of New South Wales’ newest national park.
Comeroo National Park will take in 37,423 hectares of the state’s north-west. The great majority of the land was formerly part of Brinda and Brindingabba stations.
The latter includes the unique Brindingabba wetlands and the Yantabulla Swamp. These sites make for not just stunning scenery but are crucial breeding grounds for migratory birds and other species, and are deemed high conservation value by The Nature Conservancy.
Though the land is to be managed by the NSW Department of Environment, the acquisition was actually a philanthropic one. The largest contribution came from the Wyss Foundation set up by Swiss billionaire, Hansjörg Wyss, whose company manufactured medical devices. The sale was brokered by The Nature Conservancy. A funding drive was also supported by artist Haley Mellin’s Art into Acres initiative through Re:wild.
“The acquisition of Brindingabba is a fantastic illustration of the large-scale conservation outcomes public-private partnerships can achieve,” said Allison Rowe, managing director of The Nature Conservancy.
“The land lies in the traditional Paroo River country of the Budjiti and Parunti People. There are extensive Aboriginal artefacts and hearth sites are scattered across the property. It also contains the historic Brindingabba Homestead, which was constructed around 1893.”
It is not yet clear to what extent Comeroo National Park will be managed by traditional owners. At present, approximately a third of NSW’s national parks are co-managed with traditional owners, but they own just 2% of national parks land outright. The issue remains in flux in NSW and nation-wide.
Anyone wishing to visit Comeroo will need bucket-loads of commitment. The park is literally 150 kilometres out the back of Bourke.
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