NRC visit the outback

In early August, the new Natural Resources Parliamentary Committee (NRC) made a trip through South Australia's arid lands to familiarise themselves with the region's unique values and issues. A full itinerary led to an action packed 4 days in the outback, for the parliamentarians.

The trip commenced in Coober Pedy with a visit to Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park to learn more about the co-management of parks with Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara. Another Coober Pedy highlight was the opportunity to take a look at a dug-out, currently under construction.

Next on the itinerary was a tour to Innamincka to explore the community, its local industries and the challenges faced by this iconic outback town. The committee visited Burke’s grave, a significant piece of our State’s heritage, and they learned about the culturally significant discovery of boomerangs in a dry Cooper Creek, before traveling on to Cordillo Downs for an immersive experience of station life.

 The NRC were hosted by Anthony and Janet Brook at Cordillo Downs and here they were exposed to a range of issues impacting the pastoral community.  Visits to artesian bore sites and dams were followed by tours of the historical village buildings that still remain around the Cordillo homestead. In the evening the committee were treated to a spectacular outback sunset, viewed from atop stunning red sand hills.

The NRC's visit to the region concluded with a stopover in Birdsville to meet cross border National Parks personnel and learn more about how South Australia and Queensland collaborate to manage landscape scale natural resource management issues.

During the trip, the NRC were briefed on the environmental, social and economic significance of the Great Artesian and Lake Eyre Basins and the impact of tourism in the region.  Wild dog and over abundant native species management was also discussed in length. But most importantly there was plenty of opportunity to talk about the Landscape SA reforms and consultation process, the outcome of which will shape the future of natural resource management in South Australia for decades to come.