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Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan

Enhancements to the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan

The NSW Government has announced a series of actions to enhance the CPCP’s biodiversity outcomes to ensure we get the balance right between the need for additional housing and protecting Western Sydney’s unique biodiversity.

We have committed over $100 million to deliver the CPCP enhancements including fast-tracking existing actions such as the establishment of a new national park in the Gulguer area.

The enhancements will also strengthen the existing planning controls under the CPCP to ensure the protection of koalas in south western Sydney.

For more information on the CPCP enhancement actions read:

Koala underpass at Kings Falls Bridge

A recently completed koala underpass at Kings Falls Bridge on Appin Road will support north to south movement of koalas from the future Georges River Koala Reserve to existing southern koala habitat.

The koala underpass at Kings Falls Bridge on Appin Road was identified as a priority project in the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan to improve koala safety and health, including connectivity between two habitat areas.

The underpass is based on current best practice design which provides benches under the bridge to allow dry passage for koalas (and other fauna) under Appin Road.

Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Research Program

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) Research Program aims to solve challenging issues and barriers to create a greener, more sustainable Western Sydney.

With $1.8 million of funding committed to kickstart the research program in 2021-22, the department is collaborating with Western Sydney University to develop a 35-year research strategy and deliver the first 4 years of research. View the draft Research Strategy to Support the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (PDF, 3.2 MB).

Appendix 3 and 4 (PDF, 708 KB) lists the knowledge gaps that have been identified so far, as well as the outcomes and research areas required to fill these gaps.

The draft CPCP Research Program Implementation Strategy was open for feedback from 14 November 2022 until 24 February 2023. Feedback received from the community will help shape the final CPCP Research Program Implementation Strategy and determine priority research areas for the next 4 years.


In the first 5 years of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP), we focus on actions to protect koalas, other wildlife, and important native vegetation.

Some of these actions are already underway:

  • 54 ha of land transferred to NPWS to start establishing the Georges River Koala Reserve.
  • 177 ha of conservation land has been purchased, including habitat for koalas and other threatened species.
  • The Biodiversity Conservation Trust is engaging with landholders to encourage uptake of biodiversity stewardship agreements in priority areas needed for offsets under the CPCP.
  • 171 Cumberland Plain Woodland biodiversity credits have been retired.
  • Construction of koala underpasses along Appin Road near the intersection of Appin Road with Brian Road and where Kings Falls Bridge crosses the Georges River.
  • Tharawal and Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Councils have started implementing projects under the Cumberland Plain Grants Program.
  • Actions underway for koala monitoring and research including baseline disease monitoring and genetic sampling actions in south western Sydney. 53 koalas were studied in a chlamydia vaccine trial by the University of Sydney.

Protecting biodiversity through stewardship agreements

The department is working with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust to encourage landholders to establish new biodiversity stewardship sites in the CPCP area. Landowners can enter a biodiversity stewardship agreement to permanently protect and manage an agreed patch of land for conservation in return for financial and other benefits.

The Biodiversity Conservation Trust is engaging with interested landholders in the CPCP area to promote the opportunities and benefits of stewardship sites. With more than 75% of the remaining native vegetation in the Cumberland subregion being on private land, stewardship agreements are an important way of supporting Western Sydney’s biodiversity over the long term.


For more information about biodiversity stewardship agreements visit the Biodiversity Conservation Trust or phone 1300 992 688.