The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) was finalised with NSW approvals in place in August 2022. Commonwealth approvals are pending and more information about this is available on the legal disclaimer section of this page.
The CPCP protects large areas of regionally important habitat while unlocking delivery of urban growth and development. This includes facilitating the delivery of up to 73,000 homes planned for the Western Parkland City by providing necessary biodiversity approvals.
Final CPCP package
Final CPCP package and associated documents can be viewed on our Planning Portal. This includes:
- Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (PDF, 10.2 MB)
- Sub-Plan A: Conservation program and implementation (PDF, 12.5 MB)
- Sub-Plan B: Koalas (PDF, 6.0 MB)
- Assessment Report Summary (PDF, 1.0 MB).
Fact sheets and supporting documents:
- Glossary for CPCP (PDF, 182 KB)
- CPCP Snapshot (PDF, 761 KB)
- Protecting koalas on the Cumberland Plain (PDF, 248 KB)
- New expert advice on koala corridors (PDF, 156 KB)
- Terms of Reference for the Strategic Impact Assessment Report for the CPCP (PDF, 48.7 KB).
What we heard
We heard and considered feedback received on the draft CPCP and exhibited documents. We have updated the CPCP in response to community feedback and advice from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.
The draft CPCP was exhibited from 26 August to 2 November 2020. All exhibited documents and submissions received can be viewed on the Planning Portal.
We received over 500 individual submissions from a range of stakeholders including community, landholders and developers, environment groups, industry, local councils, Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other Aboriginal groups.
Key changes made in response to feedback include:
- Planning controls replace the proposed conservation zoning of avoided land
- Mapping of watercourses and riparian zones was updated to include small watercourses in the certified-urban capable land where no native vegetation is present
- Mapping of vegetation and land categories was updated
For more information, read our What we heard report outlining key themes and issues raised and how we have updated the CPCP to address feedback.
Visit our CPCP mapping web page to view the final CPCP mapping using our spatial viewer.
The south-western Sydney koala population is Sydney’s largest population and one of the healthiest populations in NSW. The NSW Government is supporting the protection and growth of these koalas through the adoption of expert advice as part of the CPCP.
The advice details 31 principles for protecting koalas in the area covered by the CPCP and surrounding areas.
The department has prepared a response to this koala advice (PDF, 2.3 MB) outlining how we have considered and adopted all 31 recommendations to finalise the CPCP. The CPCP will also protect additional areas of koala habitat and ensure that koala corridors are functional for koala movement.
For more information about the application of the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer’s advice for functional koala corridors, read the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Functional Koala Corridors report (PDF, 2 MB).
Frequently asked questions
For more detailed information about the CPCP, you can refer to the frequently asked questions and resources below.
The CPCP’s commitments and actions will be delivered to 2056. This aligns with implementation of the Greater Sydney Region Plan: A Metropolis of Three Cities and the Future Transport Strategy 2056.
The CPCP 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.
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.
Western Sydney is an important area for many threatened and iconic species such as the koala, Nodding Geebung and Cumberland Plain Land Snail. The CPCP’s vision is to ‘support Western Sydney’s biodiversity and growth’. This means it will support the planned and strategic delivery of housing, infrastructure and jobs for Western Sydney while protecting and maintaining important biodiversity areas.
The CPCP has commitments and actions that will deliver the social, environmental and economic outcomes of the plan. These include commitments and actions to conserve flora, fauna and associated habitat, avoid and minimise impacts from development and manage landscape threats.
The CPCP is committed to delivering new conservation lands to offset impacts to threatened plants and animals from development, 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 Western Sydney’s plants and animals in the future.
The CPCP also includes other actions to manage pest animals and weeds, implementing a fire management strategy, undertaking threatened species research and implementing a compliance program to deal with illegal clearing of native vegetation.
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 in the region especially to the local community in Western Sydney.
The CPCP includes specific commitments and actions to protect the Southern Sydney koala population by addressing the impacts and potential risks to koalas from future development in the Wilton and Greater Macarthur growth areas. These commitments and actions were developed based on advice from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (2020 and 2021) and the NSW Koala Strategy (2018).
The CPCP commits to establishing the Georges River Koala Reserve east of Appin Road from Appin through to Long Point. This reserve will protect existing koala habitat and enhance the connectivity of fragmented patches of koala habitat through restoration.
In the early years of the CPCP, funding has been committed to install koala exclusion fencing between koala habitat and the urban interface, including new residential areas, motorways and state roads. Through the CPCP the department will invest in the NSW Koala Strategy to research, monitor and support koala health and welfare in partnership with the local community.
The CPCP has been prepared to meet 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:
- Western Sydney Aerotropolis
- Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek Investigation Area
- Greater Macarthur Growth Area
- Wilton Growth Area.
The CPCP will also provide biodiversity approvals for four major transport corridors in the Western Parkland City, planned to respond to the needs of Western Sydney over the next 39 years and identified in Future Transport Strategy 2056. These include the:
- 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
- Outer Sydney Orbital, between Box Hill and the Hume Motorway near Menangle
- M7/Ropes Crossing Link Road.
These four corridors are included in the CPCP for approval under the strategic assessment (EPBC Act). However only the sections of corridors within the nominated areas (excluding the tunnels sections) are included in the strategic biodiversity certification (BC Act).
The NSW Government has committed $114 million to deliver the following priority conservation actions over the first five years of the CPCP:
- A land purchase program to support establishment of the Georges River Koala Reserve and to establish and expand other reserves including commencing restoration of koala habitat in the Reserve and other priority areas.
- Installation of crossings and fences in key areas to protect koalas and facilitate their safe movement.
- Encouraging uptake of biodiversity stewardship agreements in priority areas (such as Cumberland Plain Woodland areas) needed for offsets under this plan.
- Support for the NSW Koala Strategy to commence annual monitoring of koalas in South Western Sydney.
- Development and early implementation of a 35-year research strategy to fill knowledge gaps in the Cumberland Plain.
- Co-development of a 10-year Caring for Country – Aboriginal Outcomes Strategy with Western Sydney’s Aboriginal community.
The full cost of conservation activities delivered under the CPCP’s project time frame until 2056 will be recovered through developer contributions.
The department will regularly review the CPCP’s resourcing requirements to ensure it can adapt to changing circumstances and enable the long-term implementation of the conservation program.
The NSW Environment and Heritage Minister approved the CPCP which provides biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). This approval removes the need for landholders to seek their own biodiversity approvals under the BC Act for development on certified - urban capable land as long as they comply with planning controls under the CPCP, as set out in the Strategic Conservation Chapter of the SEPP (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021.
The department is currently pursuing Commonwealth approval for the CPCP under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Landholders can submit development applications, seek subdivision or start master planning. However, development that will have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance (MNES) on certified - urban capable land cannot commence until the Commonwealth CPCP approval is in place. If MNES will not be significantly impacted, then the development may proceed subject to other relevant environmental and planning approvals being obtained. If you are unsure whether to submit a referral under the EPBC Act, please contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy and Environment and Water for advice.
Stay in touch
You can sign up for email updates on the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan:
Page last updated: 31/01/2023