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Western Sydney is growing at a rapid rate. In 2016, Western Sydney was home to 1.2 million residents and that number is projected to grow to over 1.8 million residents by 2036. The new international Western Sydney Airport is also scheduled to open in 2026.
The NSW Government’s vision for Western Sydney is to deliver the infrastructure, housing and jobs needed for future population growth and to create vibrant, liveable, connected cities with green spaces and protected biodiversity.
The Department of Planning and Environment is undertaking strategic conservation planning in Western Sydney to balance the priorities of people and biodiversity at a landscape scale.
This is one of the largest conservation planning exercises ever undertaken in Australia, and will provide an enduring conservation legacy for Western Sydney.


Where will strategic conservation planning take place in Western Sydney?

The conservation plan area covers around 200,000 hectares. The area is part of the Cumberland Plain and contains:

Click to enlarge

Map of Cumberland Plan Conservation Plan area

The map above shows the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan study area, representing around 200,000 hectares of Western Sydney. This includes outlines of Local Government Areas, Transport Corridors, Growth Areas and Parks and Green Space.


Why do strategic conservation planning in Western Sydney?

A thriving, liveable Western Sydney should include a place for the area’s many native plants and animals. The Cumberland Plain is home to around 160 threatened species, including the largest koala population in Sydney, the Cumberland Plain land snail and significant plants like the nodding geebung and spiked riceflower. Strategic conservation planning in Western Sydney will help protect the area’s important biodiversity for the long term.


What is the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan?

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is the conservation plan being developed for Western Sydney. The Plan will identify how any impacts to biodiversity from projected growth in Western Sydney will be addressed. In doing so, it will help strike the balance between delivering positive environmental outcomes and supporting appropriate development over the next 37 years.


NSW and Commonwealth Government legislation

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan will meet legislative requirements for strategic biodiversity certification under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and strategic assessment under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). 


Have your say 

The Department of Planning and Environment is committed to engaging regularly with you so you can stay informed and play a role in shaping the development of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

An important first step in developing the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is to publicly exhibit draft Terms of Reference for the strategic assessment under the Commonwealth (EPBC Act). A strategic assessment is where a landscape scale assessment of impacts to matters of national environmental significance aims to meet environmental approvals under the EPBC Act. This, together with strategic biodiversity certification under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) are both being delivered through strategic conservation planning for Western Sydney.

The draft Terms of Reference set out what is required for undertaking the strategic assessment. Section 146(1B)(b)(ii) of the EPBC Act requires draft Terms of Reference to be published for a period of at least 28 days. We are now seeking comments on the draft Terms of Reference until 25 January 2019. 

Following the public exhibition period, the Terms of Reference will be finalised, taking into account any comments received

This will be the first of many opportunities to have your say on strategic conservation planning in Western Sydney. The Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is scheduled to be released for public comment and consultation in 2019.

The Executive Director, Biodiversity and Sustainability Branch
Department of Planning and Environment
GPO Box 39
Sydney NSW  2000

Public exhibition will close on 25 January 2019.

If you require a hard copy draft Terms of Reference to be mailed to you please call 1300 305 695. 

All submissions will be made public in line with the Department’s objective to promote an open and transparent planning system. If you do not wish your submission to be made public, please make this explicit at the top of your submission. If you are happy for your submission to be public but want to maintain your privacy, please state this clearly at the top of your submission and do not include any of your personal information in the body of your submission or in any attachments. Before making a submission, please read our privacy statement.


Make an online submission

More information

For more information please send us an email.


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Page last updated: 28/11/2018