Sydney Koala Budget – species still at risk
Sydney’s beautiful greenbelt and the healthiest Koala colony in NSW are at risk. The NSW Government’s announcement of $80m for south-west Sydney’s Koalas must be linked to habitat protection across the Cumberland Plain. Unless there are protected linking corridors between reserves, koalas will face extinction as urban sprawl dismembers their habitat and migratory movements and road kill grows.
In the next six months the future of the critically endangered Cumberland Plain, encompassing 200,000ha on the western edge of the city will be decided. The massive development push under the guise of the so-called Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) must be radically changed.
We are one of 25 national, state, and local groups that have joined forces to campaign for their protection. This means new conservation reserves, a wide-ranging regime of environment protection zones and permanent migratory Koala corridors.
So far, we have achieved a government commitment to review the CPCP, but still big developers are seeking to fast track their plans. It is essential that the 100 threatened plant and animal species and thriving Koala colony are preserved before any decisions on future development.
Please take action today here.
We have created a video calling for action and community mobilisation. You can watch it by clicking below!
Jeff Angel, our director speaks to the issue: "Curbing the massive developments is now on the government’s table, otherwise much of the $80m will be wasted. The key tool to do this is the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan, which is on the desks of the Ministers for Environment and Planning right now. With effective environment protection zoning of critical habitat and corridors, we can give the colony the prospect of a better future.’’
"The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan covers 200,000ha framing the entire western edge of Sydney. It could curb Sydney’s urban sprawl; protect endangered ecosystems; and help tackle killer urban heat for existing and new residents – while supplying new housing."
"The Plan should be amended to put conservation of threatened plant and animal species and new parks securely in place before new development. Bearing in mind the Plan is a 35-year projection of development and there is no infrastructure, environment protection amendments can be made quite quickly.’’ Jeff adds.
Alongside 24 other organisations, we are calling for the following reforms:
- permanent environment protection zoning (C2) of conservation lands
- reservation of all Koala corridors, according to Chief Scientist criteria (425m width, no less than 250m at any point)
- rapid delivery of new national parks and reserves
- review of current development proposals
- no translocation of Koalas
YouGov polling found 84% of NSW residents want Koala habitat protected from development, with 91% supporting a Koala Greenbelt around Sydney. The Greenbelt and connected grid of bushland corridors and waterways, including regeneration areas - will be a treasured conservation and livability legacy in a global warming environment.
Take action today here!
With thanks to the 24 organisations that are supporting this campaign alongside Total Environment Centre:
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Humane Society International Australia, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Australian Wildlife Society, Australian Climate and Forest Alliance, Greater Sydney Landcare, Habitat Network, Australian Conservation Foundation, Greater Western Sydney Community Group, National Parks Association Macarthur Branch, Save Sydney’s Koalas, WinZero (Wingecarribee Net Zero Emissions), Save Mt Gilead, Wilton Action Group, Rewilding Sydney Koalas Project, Hawkesbury Environment Network, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre, Hills-Hornsby Rural Koala Project, DoSomething Foundation, Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society, Hunter Community Environment Centre, Oatley Flora and Fauna Society