Bolivia Hill Wattle seedlings collected for preservation

Stevie Elwood from the Aboriginal Men's Group collects Bolivia Wattle seed

Stevie Elwood from the Aboriginal Men's Group collects Bolivia Wattle seed

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From little things, big things grow - about 250 to be precise.

Seedlings of the rare and endangered Bolivia Hill Wattle have been collected and delivered to Mount Annan Botanic Gardens for preservation.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the unique wattle was identified during the review of environmental factors for the New England Highway upgrade at Bolivia Hill.

“The discovery provided an opportunity for Roads and Maritime to work with the local community to gather and store seeds.

“Five people from the Inverell Aboriginal Men’s Group participated in a seed collecting course to learn species identification, collection methods and storage.

Roads Minister Darren Chester with New England MP Barnaby Joyce at the site of the upgrade.

Roads Minister Darren Chester with New England MP Barnaby Joyce at the site of the upgrade.

“The wattle is unique to the area, growing only between Bolivia Hill and Glen Innes and Tenterfield, so it’s important to preserve for future generations.

“Almost a third of the seedlings collected have been sent to the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens, which are expected to produce about 250 plants in the future.”

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Seedbank Manager Ivan Lackay is part of the local Aboriginal community and passionate about preserving this very special wattle.

“It was great to be given the opportunity to facilitate employment for local young Aboriginal people, for an important cause and the protection of Bolivia Hill Wattle.

“Training these men to monitor and then collect the seed enabled them to get back on the country and practice traditional land management.”

Work on the New England Highway upgrade at Bolivia Hill is expected to start next year and will take about two years to complete, weather permitting.