Brigalow Belt South bioregion assessment

In 1999, the NSW Government initiated the Brigalow and Nandewar western regional assessment to guide future planning, encourage partnerships to protect the environment and provide certainty for the timber industry in the region.

Located in the central north of NSW, the Brigalow Belt South bioregion extends from Dubbo to the Queensland border (the bioregion also extends well into Queensland but only the NSW part was included in the assessment).

The region includes the towns of Merriwa, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree and Warialda. It covers an area of 52,000 square kilometres in NSW, which makes up 6.2% of the state.

The Brigalow region was assessed in two stages.

  • Stage 1 focused on the Pilliga and Goonoo group of forests south of Narrabri.
  • Stage 2 built on the first stage and included the wider bioregion in NSW.

Projects included

  • fauna and vegetation surveys
  • a wood resources inventory
  • geology surveys
  • minerals exploration potential
  • social and economic studies
  • Aboriginal heritage and community consultation

Detailed workshops with stakeholders were held. Representatives of 17 local Aboriginal land councils and 2 traditional owner groups participated. The Aboriginal consultation project delivered

  • forest management meetings with traditional owners
  • an oral history and archival investigation
  • a cultural heritage field survey
  • development of land options

The resources, maps, figures and data from the Nandewar and Brigalow assessment have assisted in the development of a whole-of-government approach to land use and natural resource management.

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