Staff Writer | Palladium - May 29 2018
Cultural, Environmental, and Economic Outcomes in Store for Nimmie-Caira Thanks to Ground-breaking Approach

New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, announced today that a consortium led by The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC) has been selected to deliver the Nimmie-Caira water saving project. This has been accomplished through an innovative market engagement process managed by global impact firm Palladium.

The $180 million Commonwealth funded Nimmie-Caira project will enable a landscape-scale restoration of a unique and important environmental system within the Murray Darling Basin, rich in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and offering economic potential for the area.

CEO of Palladium, Kim Bredhauer, said the project demonstrated a fresh approach to procurement that has enabled the NSW Government to achieve greater innovation from the market, as well as a balance of social, environmental and economic outcomes.

“Palladium is delighted to have supported the NSW Government with the successful delivery of the Nimmie-Caira project,” Mr Bredhauer said. “We’ve taken a world class approach to facilitating engagement between government and the market, to ensure that environmental and social outcomes have been considered equally to economic value throughout the procurement process.”

Nimmie-Caira is 2.75 times larger than its Yanga National Park neighbour, and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage is a defining feature of the landscape. Through engagement with Aboriginal communities, Government and industry stakeholders, a Land and Water Management Plan for the area has been developed that reflects the community aspirations, the desire for economic activity on the land, as well as providing for the protection, maintenance and enhancement of the environmental and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage values of the landscape.

Nari Nari Tribal Council is a member of the selected consortium and will have a critical role in the management of the property, providing opportunities for employment, improved health and education, and reconnection to country for Aboriginal peoples.

“The tender from The Nature Conservancy demonstrates the potential for innovative Public Interest Partnerships between governments and the private sector in the areas of public asset divestment and public procurement across Australia. This includes strong collaboration between investors and philanthropists, NGOs, researchers, and Aboriginal peoples,” said Palladium’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, Cassian Drew.

“Public Interest Partnerships coordinate the objectives of government with the market and with the community, and are built on an understanding of the needs of people and the interest of industry through a genuine engagement process,” Mr Drew said.

“The environment, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, and economic activities fall under the protection of the Land and Water Management Plan developed for Nimmie-Caira’s landscape,” said Ross Hardy, Director at Alluvium and lead author of the plan.

“The Land and Water Management Plan will provide enduring benefits to this area of wetlands in the Lower Murrumbidgee floodplain, and what has been achieved in this location will have a positive effect across the Murray Darling Basin, including improvements to environments downstream,” said Matt Looby, Senior Ecologist at Biosis.

The Nimmie-Caira Project area covers 84,417 hectares in the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee River floodplain (the Lowbidgee) between Maude and Balranald, South Western NSW.

There are 32,000 hectares of water dependent vegetation in Nimmie-Caira, including red gum and black box communities and sensitive lignum wetlands. The project purchased 19 properties on the Nimmie-Caira floodplain, together with their share of the Lowbidgee Supplementary Water Entitlement (381,000 shares) which were transferred to the Commonwealth to help meet Sustainable Diversion Limits.

Palladium is a key socioeconomic development Partner of the Commonwealth Government and works globally with corporations, governments, investors, communities, and civil society. With operations in over 90 countries, Palladium is in the business of making the world a better place.

Palladium has been engaged as the NSW Government’s independent Market Engagement Partner and was lead advisor to the Government for the design and implementation of the Nimmie-Caira procurement process, and delivery of the Nimmie-Caira Land and Water Management Plan. Palladium’s partners in the Nimmie-Caira project are Alluvium and Biosis, with Maddocks appointed as Probity Advisor.

Contact: Cassian Drew