Record land purchase for new national park

New national park to be created in NSW's North West

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The NSW government has purchased 153,415-hectare Narriearra Station near Tibooburra for a new national park. Photo supplied.

The NSW government has purchased 153,415-hectare Narriearra Station near Tibooburra for a new national park. Photo supplied.

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153,415-hectare Narriearra Station, near Tibooburra, to be turned into a national park.

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More than 150,000 hectares in the state's remote North West has been purchased by the NSW government for a new national park.

The purchase of 153,415-hectare Narriearra Station near Tibooburra, for an undisclosed amount, is the largest acquisition of private land for national park's in the state's history.

Environment Minister Matt Kean says the purchase will help protect threatened species, important habitat and wetlands.

"Narriearra Station stretches across the outback Channel Country and includes part of the Bulloo River floodplain, ephemeral wetlands and landscapes currently not found anywhere in NSW national parks," Mr Kean said.

"Narriearra is an important refuge for threatened wildlife, with more than 25 threatened animal species, including nearly 90 per cent of NSW's critical habitat and breeding areas for the nationally endangered Grey Grasswren."

He said the purchase of the outback station, which was owned by the O'Conner family, would secure a key section of the nationally important wetland - the Caryapundy Swamp.

The swamp can host tens of thousands of waterbirds including pelicans, straw-necked ibis, egrets and whiskered terns during inland flood events.

"Narriearra along with the nearby Sturt National Park, will create a vast near-contiguous conservation area of almost half a million hectares, or twice the size of the ACT," Mr Kean said.

"Adjoining the Pindera Downs Aboriginal Area, Narriearra contains many significant and valuable stone artefacts, tools and stone arrangements.

"The property is also linked to the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, with two expedition campsites on the property."

Mr Kean said the purchase went towards his goal of adding 200,000 hectares to the National Parks estate.

"On top of 64,860 hectares already reserved, this purchase puts us on track to exceed that," Mr Kean said.

The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) welcomed the NSW government's purchase.

"This is a really significant, high conservation acquisition that will protect many threatened species and habitats in western NSW," NPA Executive Officer, Gary Dunnett stated.

"The new national park is located in one of the most under reserved bioregions in NSW.

"The Bulloo River floodplain and associated ephemeral wetlands are one of western NSW's biodiversity hotspots and this extensive national park is large enough to protect the ecosystem processes of a functioning floodplain.

"This wonderful acquisition follows smaller but equally welcome recent additions in the Blue Mountains and Wollemi."

Mr Kean has invited the Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council to suggest a name for the new national park.

The Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council told The Land they did not wish to comment on the purchase at this stage as it was still early days.

More to come

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