The review of the 2004 water sharing plan - summary of submissions can be found here
The Macquarie Marshes Environmental Landholders Association (MMELA) aims to ensure the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the internationally recognised Macquarie Marshes.
The Macquarie Marshes Environmental Landholders Association (MMELA) was formed in 1995 when there was increasing pressure to reduce water flows to the Macquarie Marshes. Its members are local landholders, many of whom are third and fourth generation landholders in the area, who are dedicated to ensuring a healthy and productive marsh for future generations.
The Macquarie Marshes is a large semi permanent, flow through wetland on the lower end of the Macquarie River in central western NSW. It covers an area of approximately 200,000ha of which 12% is a Nature Reserve managed by the NSW National Parks Service (NPWS). The remaining 88% is privately owned freehold land which supports an extensive agricultural industry. Much of the land has been held in families for several generations and the property owners have an extraordinary knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the Marshes.
The Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve and “Wilgara” and “the Mole” Wetlands are listed on the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance. The Nature Reserve is also listed on the Japan , China and Republic of Korea Australia Migratory Bird Agreements (JAMBA, CAMBA & RoKAMBA) along with several other agreements. It is the responsibility of the whole community, including State and Federal Governments and the local community to ensure management of the wetland does not compromise values set out in the above mentioned agreements.
The Macquarie Marshes is unique both environmentally and economically. Research indicates it is the most important colonial nesting waterbird breeding site in Australia for species diversity and nesting density. The majority of the breeding colonies are situated on privately owned land where landholders have looked after and protected them since settlement. The Marshes also support an extensive cattle grazing industry which is its main economic focus. Sustainable grazing is encouraged by the Macquarie Marshes Environmental Landholders Association (MMELA) and the majority of landholders are acutely aware of the environmental needs of the wetland and undertake appropriate management practices.