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Steven Marshall MP, Premier; David Speirs MP, Minister for Environment and Water

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall with Environment Minister David Speirs have today signed historic agreements to conserve South Australia’s Ediacaran fossils in the Flinders Ranges.

The aim of the conservation agreements is to protect the world’s single greatest record of Ediacaran fossils at Nilpena Station in the Flinders Ranges. The agreements also focus on research, tourism and education, as well as expanding the current Ediacara Conservation Park.

Premier Marshall said the Ediacara fossils of Nilpena are a truly unique and mysterious part of our planet’s story.

“The historic agreements today are a new chapter for Nilpena. They show how we can work with philanthropy in creating and managing a park, and bringing its wonders to visitors, school children and our community,” said Premier Marshall.

“These fossils tell us much about how the planet and life have evolved and NASA has funded ongoing research to learn about how life evolves on a planet through the fossil record at Nilpena.

“Researchers have been able to excavate around 40 fossil beds that preserve snapshots of the seafloor as animal life unfolded some 500 million years ago. There is no other place in the world where this has been done for fossils of any age.”

Minister Speirs said he is proud that Nilpena will be conserved forever as a national park, and it will be the centrepiece of the South Australian Government’s pursuit of World Heritage listing for the Flinders Ranges.

“The Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation is a non-profit organisation conserving South Australia’s Ediacaran fossils and sharing their significance with the world. We are delighted to be partnering with them for the purchase of Nilpena, which their donors have generously supported,” said Minister Speirs.

“The foundation is going to be an ongoing partner with government to support the conservation, research and public awareness of the fossils at Nilpena, and elsewhere in the Flinders Ranges. The foundation’s first priority is creating an exciting visitor and research precinct.”

The South Australian Government has partnered with the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation to purchase 60,000 hectares of Nilpena Station to become part of the Ediacara Conservation Park to conserve its globally significant fossils.

Funding for the purchase of Nilpena is also being received from other philanthropic sources. Access to Nilpena is by appointment only through the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna.

28 March 2019