Witchelina SEB Offset Program

Nature Foundation facilitated a partnership between five resources companies with environmental offset needs and Commonwealth and State Governments to acquire Witchelina, a large property in South Australia’s north.

Witchelina Nature Reserve

In 2009, deep in the Millennium drought, Nature Foundation acquired a 4,200 square kilometre pastoral property in South Australia’s far north, Witchelina Station. A diverse partnership was formed, resulting in funding from the Commonwealth's Caring for Our Country program, the South Australian Government and five resources companies, who elected to discharge their environmental offset obligations through this project.

The partnering resources companies recognised the mutual benefits of discharging their offset obligation with an enduring conservation charity, as an alternative to undertaking the offset project themselves or by making a payment into the Native Vegetation Fund. Nature Foundation assumes long-term legal liability for delivering environmental offsets on Witchelina Nature Reserve incurred under the Native Vegetation Act 1991 (SA) and the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Through this partnership, the property is now managed for nature conservation and has achieved demonstrable biodiversity gains since the acquisition. A standout feature of Witchelina’s environmental offsets is the restoration of habitat for a population of the nationally vulnerable Thick-billed Grasswren. We are taking action to reduce threats to these tiny birds who nest in chenopod shrubs, and the population is responding - success!

Partners can observe and experience first-hand the advances in nature conservation their investment has generated at exclusive engagement events. Transparency is integral to our offset projects, and as a result strong relationships form.

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