Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is located on the southern side of the Murrumbidgee River between Hay and Maude. The Toogimbie IPA is part of the traditional lands of the Nari Nari people who, through the Nari Nari Tribal Council, manage the property for the restoration and protection of country and culture.
The Toogimbie floodplain includes around 1000 hectares of eucalypt-lined creeks and waterways, wetland areas and vast lignum flats. The traditional life of the Nari Nari people revolves around wetlands and floodplains like those at Toogimbie. The site is home to the Goanna, the Nari Nari totem animal, as well as traditional medicines. These areas are important ecologically with diverse aquatic plants, waterbirds and threatened species such as the Southern Bell frog.
Since 2016 the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the Nari Nari Tribal Council and the NSW Department of Industry Planning and Environment have worked together to deliver 4331ML of Commonwealth Environmental Water to Toogimbie IPA. This includes 500ML planned for 2019. Watering is planned via discussions and on Country meetings which reflect on both environmental and cultural needs. Watering is managed by Nari Nari Rangers to ensure the environment is being cared for in line with the cultural practices of the Nari Nari people.
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Jody Swirepik said “Our relationship with the Nari Nari Tribal Council has been essential in achieving outcomes of environmental watering at Toogimbie. I pay tribute to the great amount of on-ground work Nari Nari Tribal Council have undertaken in regard to the delivery of this water but also other work such as pest and weed control, monitoring, earthworks and revegetation through cultural practices. The results speak for themselves”.
This partnership has also opened up new opportunities for collaboration with NSW Department of Industry Planning and Environment for threatened species monitoring under the “saving our species” project. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is committed to working with the Nari Nari Tribal Council into the future and learning more about cultural outcomes as well as the ecology of Toogimbie.
Looking forward, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office along with NSW Department of Industry Planning and Environment are excited to continue to work with the Nari Nari Tribal Council to deliver water for the environment at the nearby Gayini (Nimmie Caira) property to see the environment flourish under the care of the Nari Nari people.
Nursery wetland at Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area. Photo: C. Amos, DPIE