Last Chance to Save Sydney’s Koalas

Send a message to NSW's Minister for Environment, Penny Sharpe and Minister for Planning, Paul Scully and urge them to take action - message template at the bottom of this page.

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP 2021 - 2056) frames the western edge of Sydney. It could curb Sydney’s urban sprawl as a Greenbelt; protect endangered ecosystems; and help tackle killer urban heat for existing and new residents. The current CPCP will do enormous damage to the environment.

YouGov polling found 84% of NSW residents want Koala habitat protected from development, with 91% supporting a Koala Greenbelt around Sydney. Twenty-five national, state and local environment groups have called for the following reforms.

1. Secure protection of the environment

The key to deliver sustainable outcomes for western-Sydney is to enlarge the amount of protected conservation lands (C2 zoning).

Koala corridors are also essential and all identified in the Chief Scientist’s Campbelltown Koala Advice (425m wide, min 250min at any point) and elsewhere in the CPCP should be protected. Koala road crossings should be best practice.

2. Review development proposals

Major plans must be adjusted to create climate friendly precincts that protect households from killer heat; are net carbon zero; retain established trees; and have a grid of cooling green spaces – as well as adequate social and transport infrastructure.

The CPCP should direct and manage where development occurs to protect the environment – not the other way around.

3. Deliver conservation reserves quicker

The CPCP proposes 15-20 year timeframes for the creation of new conservation reserves (Georges River Koala Reserve, Gulguer Reserve Investigation Area, the Confluence Reserve Investigation Area). This is just an invitation to allow further damaging development and urban sprawl in the meantime. Reserves first – development later.

4. No translocation or exclusion of Koalas

Koala habitat is under threat but at the same time, in a generational event, the population is expanding naturally. It is perverse that the CPCP excludes koalas from existing koala corridors and moves them elsewhere.

Send a message to NSW's Minister for Environment, Penny Sharpe and Minister for Planning, Paul Scully and urge them to take action.

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