Cumberland Plain Plan – last chance to get it right for koalas and endangered bushland
The release of the draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is the last chance to protect and regenerate remaining endangered habitat before the area is engulfed in urban development.
“It contains some good elements but there are some clear improvements needed. Most of the Georges River Koala National Park – long fought for by local and state environmental groups is close to being a reality. This keystone area should be completed in the next 5 years not by 2040 as envisaged in the Plan,” said Jeff Angel, Director of the Centre which has been running the Save Sydney’s Koala Campaign.
‘’The Macarthur Koala colony is the largest recovering colony in NSW; chlamydia free; and expanding north, south and west – of special importance in view of the megabushfires that burnt the Blue Mountains. A major worry is that the Department of Planning has white anted the recommendations of the Chief Scientist for east-west corridors between the Georges and Nepean Rivers. It’s essential the 390m wide corridors are put in place and the shortest route with bushland habitat is across the Mt Gilead land, now subject to massive urban development proposals.’’
“Instead much of the area could be a new urban park with great tourist potential in Western Sydney and the aerotropolis.”
“Two additional parks slated for near Wallacia and Londonderry are welcome. However with so much native bushland under threat, other areas identified as of strategic conservation significance should also be acquired before development speculation takes hold. We will be closely examining the various planning and offset mechanisms to ensure the Plan can really turn the corner after so many years of destruction,’’ said Mr Angel.