Developers beware as HSI secures upgraded protection for Western Sydney’s dwindling Cumberland Plain Woodlands
As a result of HSI nominations, the Cumberland Plain Woodlands are now listed as critically endangered on both NSW and Commonwealth threatened species laws. Cumberland Plain Woodlands are endemic to the Sydney Basin, and it is estimated that there is only 10,612 hectares or 6% left, about 1,300 hectares of which is earmarked for development in proposed growth centres in north-west and south-west Sydney. The woodlands are the only places within an hour of Sydney where wild populations of emus and kangaroos can be seen grazing in a natural area.
HSI first achieved protection for Cumberland Plain Woodlands under both state and federal legislation in the early 2000s, and they were the first ever listings for ecological communities. Due to an unforgivable lack of political will and failure to even put in place a recovery plan, its remnants have continued to be cleared to make way for housing developments. Many years overdue, a draft recovery plan is finally open for public consultation
“The upgrade to critically endangered reflects badly on the failure of both levels of government to use their laws effectively to protect endangered habitats from ongoing clearing”, said Nicola Beynon, Humane Society International’s Senior Program Manager.
“HSI hopes the upgraded listings will be a wake up call for both Governments to ensure no further clearing of Cumberland Plain Woodland occurs”, said Ms Beynon.
HSI will be reviewing the recovery plan to ensure it delivers the level of strict protection warranted for critically endangered habitat.