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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The department has been working to develop the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan through early engagement with community, local councils, industry and other key stakeholders since 2018. Your feedback was considered in developing the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.


What's happening now?

The Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan was on public exhibition from 26 August until 2 November 2020.


We thank everyone for taking the time to provide feedback on the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan. We are currently reviewing and considering all feedback received to help finalise the Plan.


You can view all exhibition documents, including the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Planning Portal.


To support the public exhibition of the Plan, we also developed a Spatial Viewer.


View the draft Plan


Project timeline


26 August 2020

Draft Plan released

26 August – 2 November 2020

Public exhibition

We are here

Reviewing feedback


Submission report released.


Final Plan released.


Understanding the Plan


On Thursday 10 September, we held a webinar to provide an overview of the Plan. If you are interested, you can watch the recording.


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.


Want to know more?

To help you gain a better understanding of the Plan, we have prepared a series of resources and tools. This includes:

  • spatial viewer: we’ve developed a viewer map for landholders to easily understand how their land is affected by the Plan. The viewer also enables users to visualise the proposed planning controls to deliver the Plan in Western Sydney.
  • a series of facts sheets
  • tailored frequently asked questions to provide more information to key stakeholders affected by the Plan such as landholders and local councils.


Find out more on our About the Plan page.


Contact the team

If you have further questions, you can contact the project team directly via:

  • Email the team
  • Phone: Between 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday on 1300 305 695
  • For translating and interpreting service: call 131 450 and ask for an interpreter in your language to connect you to 1300 305 695
  • If you are deaf or have a hearing speech impairment call us through the National Relay Service
  • TTY users: call 133 677 and ask for 1300 305 695
  • Speak and Listen (speech to speech relay users): call 1300 555 727 and ask for 1300 305 695
  • Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service and ask for 1300 305 695.


Stay in touch

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

Page last updated: 29/04/2021