Sydney’s largest, and one of the state’s healthiest, koala populations will be further protected under new measures being implemented as part of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP).
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the changes put the protection of one of Australia’s most iconic threatened species at the heart of planning in south-west Sydney.
“After seeking advice from the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer on the draft Plan, I’m pleased to confirm we are adopting all 31 recommendations to protect our critical koala population,” Mr Stokes said.
“We have updated the Plan to protect additional areas of habitat and ensure that wildlife corridors are suitable for koala movement.
Member for Penrith and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the koala population of the Greater Macarthur region is one of healthiest colonies in the state and one which continues to grow.
“It’s important that we support the region’s koala population, while also managing a growing community in Sydney’s south-west,” Mr Ayres said.
“This area is also rich in significant Aboriginal culture and history, and we’re committed to working more closely with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Traditional Custodians to preserve this in our planning for the community.”
Environment Minister Matt Kean said one of the leading threats to koala populations in the wild, is the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.
“South West Sydney is home to the only disease-free koala populations in the Sydney basin and it is one of the most important koala popualtions anywhere in the state,” Mr Kean said.
“This advice from the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer is crucial in protecting koala habitat in the Campbelltown and Macarthur regions as we finalise the implementation of the CPCP.
“As this part of Sydney continues to grow these recommendations will guide future development in the area and ensure koala habitat and wildlife corridors are protected in perpetuity.”
The Greater Macarthur 2040 Plan is also being finalised which will work alongside the CPCP to create koala movement corridors, improve connections and allow koalas to travel more safely throughout the region.
The CPCP and Greater Macarthur 2040 Plan are expected to be finalised and released in 2022.