26 September 2023

Big plan for land and Sydney koalas

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has finalised a plan to protect biodiversity and koala populations in Western Sydney while also supporting the development of more than 73,000 new homes.

Welcoming the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP), the Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts said the CPCP was one of the largest strategic conservation plans to be undertaken in Australia and set the standard for streamlining development processes in growth areas, without sacrificing essential conservation considerations.

“The CPCP will provide all the necessary state biodiversity approvals upfront for more than 11,000 hectares of land,” Mr Roberts said.

“Having those approvals in place from the get-go for landholders will result in more homes being built faster.”

Minister for Environment and Heritage, James Griffin said the Plan was the first strategic biodiversity certification under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

“Western Sydney is home to an incredibly diverse variety of plants and animals, including one of the State’s healthiest koala populations, as well as some rare species only found in the Cumberland Plain, such as the Cumberland Plain Woodland and the Cumberland Plain Land Snail,” Mr Griffin said.

“This Plan is an important step in ensuring the long-term protection of these species, working alongside the programs in the NSW Koala Strategy to conserve local biodiversity values,” he said.

“The Plan has now been submitted to the Australian Government and, if approved, federal biodiversity approvals will be provided up front as well to reduce the administrative burden on local development.”

Mr Griffin said the CPCP incorporated advice from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, regarding the protection of koala populations.

“This includes establishing koala corridors, restoring habitat, installing exclusion fencing, and constructing two crossings to enable koala movement across Appin Road,” the Minister said.

“It also includes a dedicated reserve to be managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, to protect and restore up to 1,830 hectares of koala habitat along the Georges River, with the first land dedications having already been made in April this year.”

Further information on the CPCP can be accessed at this PS News link.

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