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Far West parks additions provide much-needed protections for arid zone ecosystems

The conservation movement welcomes the addition of 167,000 hectares of arid-zone ecosystems to the state’s national parks estate. [1] 

Environment Minister Matt Kean announced today the government had bought two properties in the state’s Far West: Avenel/Mt Westwood Station (121,390ha) near Broken Hill and Koonaburra Station (45,534ha) near Ivanhoe. 

These are the latest in a string of recent national parks additions in the Far West, including Langidoon and Metford sheep stations (~60,000ha) near Broken Hill in June [2] and Narriearra Station (~153,000ha) in the far northwest mid-last year. [3]  

“Mr Kean has made a significant contribution to the conservation estate since he became Environment Minister in 2019, adding 520,000ha in a little over two years,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

“We always welcome new parks but this is particularly significant because of its scale and the range of ecosystems and species it will protect. 

“By securing this property, Minister Kean has more than doubled his pledge to add 200,000ha to the reserve system.” 

Avenel national park will protect almost 50 different ecosystems and plant communities and 30 threatened species, including the Australian bustard, dusky hopping-mouse and eastern fat-tailed gecko. 

Koonaburra national park will protect acacia melvillei shrublands and Sandhill Pine Woodlands, both of which are threatened ecological communities.   

“Arid and semi-arid ecosystems of the Far West are some of the most poorly protected in the state,” Mr Gambian said. “These additions will go some way to addressing that shortcoming.” 


[1] National park land boosted by purchase of two huge properties in state's west, ABC, 26-10-21.  

[2] NSW buys 60,000 hectares of farmland near Broken Hill for outback nature reserve, The Guardian, 7-6-21   

[3] NSW buys outback station in state's largest single property purchase for a national park, ABC, 27-6-20 


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