Wheatbelt property Jarrega to see large-scale restoration and environmental innovation

A property located in the shire of Coorow in West Australia’s Wheatbelt, Jarrega, will see significant restoration and scientific innovation following its purchase by Greening Australia.

The restoration project will see Greening Australia work in consultation with Traditional Owners, the local community and regional businesses to restore over 1,400ha of the 2,000ha property. With planting now underway, this project will establish more than 1.4 million native plants and sequester over 208,000 tonnes of CO2 over a 25-year crediting period.

Collaboration is key to the way Greening Australia works, including with First Nations communities and Traditional Owners. Pictured here are Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Budjar Ranger planting teams preparing seedlings to go in the ground during the 2022 planting season at Jarrega. Credit: Jesse Collins.

Located in a region facing environmental challenges such as a changing climate and a legacy of reduced productivity, Greening Australia’s plans for the property will help enhance landscape resilience and biodiversity in the area by planting over 60 native species matched to the local environment. The project will work towards habitat restoration, supporting threatened flora and fauna of the Wheatbelt, including the beloved Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, an endangered species currently threatened by habitat loss and reduced food sources.

A red tractor and a blue tractor tow direct seeding machines side by side in a green field, with brown dirt trailing and a blue sky overhead.

Breaking new ground in sandy soils, tractors prepare planting lines at Jarrega. Credit: Jesse Collins.

The strategic location of the property is designed to complement the longstanding restoration work Greening Australia has undertaken in the Wheatbelt in partnership with private landholders.

Greening Australia General Manager of Science and Design, Blair Parsons, says Jarrega represents a new frontier for what is possible in innovative environmental restoration at scale:

“This purchase represents an ideal opportunity to trial new experimental restoration techniques to overcome challenging conditions such as acidic, sandy soils, low water storage and ever-narrowing planting windows. If successful, we hope to scale up new techniques for the benefit of the local community and the wider restoration sector.

Jarrega and the surrounding landscape still retain significant natural value, including beautiful, species-rich Banksia woodlands that have been heavily cleared in other parts of southwest WA. By demonstrating ways to successfully re-establish these habitats and restore degrading portions of the landscape, we hope to realise the huge potential for restoration to be integrated into similar areas elsewhere.

“It’s early days for the project but we’re excited to share our learnings with Jarrega’s neighbours and the wider sector in the future. Our intent is to undertake ecological restoration in ways that complement and enhance agricultural productivity, because we know that by restoring landscapes we can in turn help restore local economies,” says Blair Parsons.

Working at scale – an aerial view of thousands of native seedlings ready to be planted at Jarrega in 2022. Credit: Jesse Collins.

In addition to enabling large-scale biodiversity improvement and innovation, the native plantings will also produce Australia Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

Restoration efforts on this property will be supported by a range of Greening Australia partners including global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, under its AZ Forest initiative, and Officeworks, Australia’s home for stationery, furniture, technology and student supplies.

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