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10 June 2009
Parliamentary Secretary for Water the Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, today announced the purchase of Booligal Station on the Lachlan River in NSW. The Commonwealth provided $1.597 million to purchase the 5,936 hectares of land, as well as 472 unit shares of General Security water licences.
The purchase will ensure the long-term conservation of the nationally recognised Booligal Wetlands on the Lachlan River in western NSW.
Booligal Station will be incorporated into the NSW National Parks system.
Dr Kelly said that the purchase of Booligal Station demonstrated the Australian Government's commitment to supporting healthy rivers and wetlands - a key priority under the Water for the Future program.
"This purchase is an excellent example of the Australian Government working to secure real and significant improvements to river and wetland health in our great Murray Darling river system," Dr Kelly said.
"The acquisition of the Booligal Station is essential to assuring the long-term protection of the Booligal Wetlands."
"The wetlands have important natural and cultural values and provide an excellent example of inland floodplain wetlands."
"The station contains more than 2,500 hectares of the Booligal Wetlands - renowned for the large numbers of waterbirds that congregate to breed and forage here during floods," Dr Kelly said.
Also protected by this purchase are river red gum and black box woodlands, as well as shrubland and grassland communities. Many threatened species have been recorded on the property. They include the Blue-billed Duck, Freckled Duck, Little Bittern, and Grey-crowned Babbler, as well as several important migratory species.
The station has been purchased through the Rivers Environmental Restoration Program which is funded by the Australian and NSW Governments. The Program aims to address the urgent need to improve the health of some of the most significant and threatened wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service will immediately put programs in place to actively manage pest, weed and fire issues.