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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The department has been engaging with community and stakeholders since 2018 to support the development of the draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (draft plan).


In 2020, we exhibited the draft Plan welcoming feedback from community, local councils, industry and other key stakeholders. We are currently considering all feedback received to help finalise the Plan and are undertaking further engagement with Aboriginal communities and stakeholders in Western Sydney.

What's happening now?

Collaborating with Western Sydney’s Aboriginal community to support the Plan

We are committed to working with Aboriginal communities and stakeholders in Western Sydney to collaboratively implement the Plan.

The draft Plan includes a commitment to develop a 10-year Aboriginal Implementation and Engagement Strategy under the Plan.


The strategy will:

  • ensure Aboriginal people in Western Sydney benefit from the opportunities arising from the Plan’s delivery
  • identify how we can incorporate Aboriginal cultural values and knowledge into delivering conservation outcomes under the Plan. 


Since June 2021, we have been engaging with Traditional Custodians, Aboriginal Land Councils, local community, businesses, and service providers in Western Sydney to understand the opportunities and priorities for this strategy.


For detailed information, read the Aboriginal Implementation & Engagement Strategy fact sheet (PDF, 487 KB). 


How can I be involved in the Strategy development? 

We want to make sure the strategy reflects the priorities of the Western Sydney Aboriginal Community. If you are an Aboriginal community member, service provider, business, or organisation in Western Sydney, we would like to hear from you.

Please contact us using our details below:

  • Phone: 1800 810 680 (for enquiries about the 10-year Aboriginal Implementation and Engagement Strategy)
  • Email: (for all Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan enquiries)


What happened so far?

The draft Plan was on public exhibition from 26 August until 2 November 2020. We are currently reviewing and considering all feedback received to help finalise the Plan.
You can view all documents exhibited on the Planning Portal.
To support the public exhibition of the Plan, we also developed a Spatial Viewer. Find out more about the viewer.


View the draft Plan


Project timeline


July - October 2019

Early engagement on the CPCP

26 August 2020

Draft Plan released

26 August – 2 November 2020

Public exhibition of the draft Plan

We are here

Reviewing feedback

Late 2021

Submission report released

Late 2021

Final Plan submitted for approval.

Commonly asked questions

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan’s commitments and actions will be delivered over the next 35 years to 2056. This aligns with implementation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan: A Metropolis of Three Cities and the Future Transport Strategy 2056.

The Plan covers an area of around 200,000 hectares in Western Sydney and spans across eight local government areas: Wollondilly; Camden; Campbelltown; Liverpool; Fairfield; Penrith; Blacktown and Hawkesbury.

Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan study area map

Note: click on the map to view a larger version.

Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Study Area Map August 2020 835x1181

Sydney is an important area for many threatened and iconic species such as the koala, Nodding Geebung and Cumberland Plain Land Snail. The Plan’s vision is to ‘support Western Sydney’s biodiversity and growth’. The department has used biodiversity information and expert and community advice to identify the best areas to target for long-term protection and to manage increasing landscape-scale threats over the coming decades.

The Plan has 28 commitments and 141 actions that will help achieve its vision, objective and outcomes. These include commitments and actions to conserve flora, fauna and associated habitat, avoid and minimise impacts and manage landscape threats. The Plan is committed to delivering new conservation lands, which include new reserves, additions to existing reserves, and biodiversity stewardship sites. Securing land with healthy native vegetation, connectivity or potential for ecological restoration will help protect our plants and animals in the future.

The Plan includes actions to protect these new conservation lands by managing pest animals and weeds, implementing a fire management strategy, undertaking threatened species research and implementing a compliance program.

South Western Sydney has the largest koala population in the Sydney metropolitan area and is home to one of the healthiest koala populations in NSW. The NSW Government recognises the importance of koalas to the local community in Western Sydney.

The Plan’s conservation program for koalas will establish the Georges River Koala Reserve, protecting up to 1,885 hectares of koala habitat. This includes the opportunity to restore up to 200 hectares of koala habitat within the reserve. Around 100,000 new trees will be planted in the first three years of the Plan to enhance the connectivity of fragmented koala habitat both within and outside the reserve.

In the early years of the Plan funding has been committed to install 120 km of koala exclusion fencing between koala habitat and the urban interface, including new residential areas, motorways and state roads. Through the Plan the department will invest in the NSW Koala Strategy to research, monitor and support koala health and welfare in partnership with the local community.

Further information is provided in the Fact sheet on protecting koalas on the Cumberland Plain.

When approved, the Plan will provide biodiversity approvals under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in four nominated areas for urban development in the Western Parkland City:

The Plan will also provide NSW and Commonwealth biodiversity approvals for major infrastructure corridors in the Western Parkland City:

  • potential future extension of Sydney Metro Greater West, south from Western Sydney Aerotropolis to Macarthur (except for the section in the South West Growth Area)
  • the Western Sydney Freight Line corridor
  • Outer Sydney Orbital Stage 1
  • M7/Ropes Crossing Link Road.

Landowners can access the Spatial Viewer to identify the land categories for each nominated area.


For each of the nominated areas, the Plan identifies three major land categories, which are:

  • certified urban capable land
  • excluded land
  • non-certified land, which is divided into three sub-categories, including:
    - land avoided for biodiversity purposes
    - land avoided for other purposes
    - Western Sydney Aerotropolis land.


Landowners in avoided lands will have an environmental conservation zone (known as E2) applied to their land. This will not change existing uses but it will define future uses of the land.  
Landowners in the strategic conservation area can participate in the Plan by establishing a biodiversity stewardship agreement to protect and manage biodiversity on their land. For more information visit the Biodiversity Conservation Trust’s website. 


Planning controls will be introduced for the strategic conservation area to minimise impacts to areas of high biodiversity value that provide the best opportunities to deliver regional biodiversity outcomes.  


For more information, refer to:

The NSW Government has already committed $84 million to support the Plan’s implementation in the first five years. This will fund a package of priorities, which include planting 100,000 trees to restore koala habitat and installing 120 kilometres of koala exclusion fencing. During this period, the NSW Government will prioritise funding to establish new reserves to protect threatened ecological communities, species and their habitats. Proposed new reserves are:

  • Georges River Koala Reserve
  • Gulguer Reserve Investigation Area in the Wollondilly area
  • The Confluence Reserve Investigation Area in the Londonderry area.


The Plan proposes to fund the conservation program through developer contributions. The funding model proposes to recover costs from industry through a biodiversity component of a Special Infrastructure Contribution on development in the four Western Sydney nominated areas.


A Special Infrastructure Contribution for biodiversity of $4,500 per dwelling was proposed in the Wilton and Greater Macarthur Growth Areas draft Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plans. The NSW Minister for Planning will consider a range of developer contribution levels, including full cost recovery, prior to making a final determination on the biodiversity component of the Special Infrastructure Contribution before the Plan is approved.


The department will regularly review the Plan’s resourcing requirements to ensure it can adapt to changing circumstances and enable the long-term implementation of the conservation program.

To help you gain a better understanding of the Plan, we have prepared a series of resources and tools that you can access via our About the Plan page.

Resources includes:

Stay in touch

If you have further questions, you can contact the project team via email.

You can sign up for email updates on the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.


Page last updated: 10/09/2021