From the tablelands of the Great Dividing Range in the east to the rich black soil plains in the west, the region offers a range of landscapes and protected areas. This includes World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests such as Oxley Wild Rivers and New England National Parks and internationally recognised wetlands.
The rare sub-alpine communities at the ancient volcano of Mount Kaputar near Narrabri occur nowhere else on the planet. Near Moree, the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area is one of the most significant inland wetland systems in NSW.
The region also contains Montane Peatlands and Swamps of the New England Tableland, the home of species listed as endangered under both state and Commonwealth legislation.
Download the New England North West Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 19.9 MB).
National parks and landscapes
The region includes the Washpool, Gibraltar Range, Oxley Wild Rivers and New England national parks, which form part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. These and other national parks are important areas of environmental value. Their landscapes, plants and animals, attract tourists and help to form the character and identity of the region.
The regional plan sets out how environmental values will be sustainably managed and protected as key ecological areas and tourist attractions. See objective 7 (PDF, 19.9 MB) and objective 12 (PDF, 19.9 MB) to find out more.
The regional plan establishes the need to work with the knowledge and expertise of local Aboriginal communities to protect local biodiversity and environmental landscapes. Find out more at objective 12 of the regional plan.
Beyond the importance of the region’s lakes, reservoirs and watercourses to the region’s environmental health and critical biodiversity, water is essential for the region’s economic and social future.
The region’s water sources include:
- major water storages of Glenlyon (Queensland), Pindari, Copeton, Split Rock, Keepit, Malpas, and Chaffey dams
- Oaky and Styx dams, current subject to investigations
- the Macintyre, Dumaresq, Severn, Gwydir, Namoi and Peel rivers
- several groundwater sources.
Emerging industries such as renewable energy and intensive agriculture, as well as various employment and business initiatives, need secure access to water.
Water is already a finite resource and the changing climate could see a decline in water resources.
See objective 11 (PDF, 19.9 MB) of the regional plan for more details.