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The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Water

The Hon Frank Sartor MP
NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment

Purchase Secures Internationally Significant Wetland

Joint media release
17 February 2010

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NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor and Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Mike Kelly today announced the $10 million purchase of Old Dromana by the NSW and Australian Governments on location near Moree.

This property contains what was the largest privately owned Ramsar listed wetland in NSW.

“Old Dromana is part of the Gwydir Wetlands in NSW and is one of Australia’s 65 internationally recognised wetlands,” Mr Sartor said.

“The property contains over 600 hectares of wetland and will become the first in the Gwydir to be included in a public nature reserve for conservation management.

“With today’s visit I’ve seen first hand how this stunning landscape has the ability to support rare, endangered and vulnerable species including migratory birds,” Mr Sartor said.

Mr Sartor thanked the former owners for helping to protect 15 ecological communities, of which four are endangered and a large stand of Marsh-club rush which is new to the NSW reserve system. 

“I’ve thanked the former owners who have cared for these wetlands over the past 35 years,” Mr Sartor said.

Dr Kelly said the purchase demonstrates strong commitment to Australia’s obligations under the Ramsar Convention to conserve internationally significant wetlands.

“Between the Australian and NSW Governments, 104 billion litres of environmental water rights have been purchased in the Gwydir Valley,“ Dr Kelly said.

“Allocations against these water rights will be available to help maintain and improve wetland health throughout the Gwydir system, including Old Dromana.”

The property purchase was funded from the Australian Government’s Water for the Future - Water Smart Australia program, through the NSW Rivers Environmental Restoration Program and will be reserved under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

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Commonwealth of Australia