A new record was made in the property industry with the purchase of the Juanbung and Boyong cattle stations in western New South Wales (NSW), along with their water rights. The deal was worth $55 million, making it the most valuable private conservation-focused purchase in Australia’s history.

The move by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Australia, in a joint venture with Tiverton Agriculture, will pave the way for the protection of almost the entire Great Cumbung Swamp from potential conversion to irrigated cropping.

“Today, more than ever, we need science-based, pragmatic solutions that deliver benefits for people and nature. If we are to save the basin’s rivers and the communities that depend on them, conservationists, irrigators and governments must come together and act with courage, urgency and optimism,” said TNC Country Director Rich Gilmore.

Why is this relevant to the industry? The Great Cumbung, which is one of the largest and most important wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, will be able to continue contributing to the economic development and jobs in the Riverina, an agricultural region of South-Western NSW.

Tiverton will manage the property for the dual objectives of conservation and sustainable agriculture. “We look forward to managing this outstanding property and exploring future sustainable land-use options such as carbon, biodiversity offsets and stewardship, and ecotourism,” said Tiverton Director Nigel Sharp.

The Great Cumbung will be supervised in conjunction with the 87,000-hectare Gayini Nimmie Caira property, which was purchased for conservation by the NSW government in 2012 and is now managed by TNC and non-profit organisation Nari Nari Tribal Council.