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(61) (2) 9973 1728
Australia's native woodlands      
HSI

TAKE ACTION

ACTION ALERT
Sydney, 14 May 2009
Support the protection of Australia's native woodlands

ACT by 18th MAY

HSI's nomination to uplist the Cumberland Plain Woodland ecological community from ' ˜endangered' to ' ˜critically endangered' status under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is currently being assessed by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. Following their assessment, the TSSC will be providing Environment Minister Peter Garrett with a recommendation on whether or not the community warrants this increased national protection.

Found only in the Sydney Basin, persistent landclearing has led to such a decline in Cumberland Plain Woodland that a mere 9% of its original extent now remains in small, vulnerable patches. Despite being protected as an endangered ecological community under both federal and NSW environment laws for over a decade, the NSW Government has continued to sanction its clearing through the approval of development proposals. Equally at fault, the federal Government has failed to ensure that any further wholesale clearance of this community is not permitted.

The continued clearing and fragmentation of the community prompted the NSW Scientific Committee to last year make the preliminary determination to upgrade its status to critically endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. In doing so, the Committee stated that Cumberland Plain Woodland ' is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in NSW in the immediate future' .

Already so close to extinction, and at ever increasing risk of urban encroachment and development, it is crucial that Cumberland Plain Woodland is given the protection it warrants as a critically endangered ecological community.

Calls for public submissions on the listing of ecological communities typically result in the Government receiving numerous submissions from vested interest groups that are opposed to their protection. This is an opportunity to demonstrate the wealth of public support for conserving our threatened native habitats that must not be missed.

The nomination and a distribution map of the community can be accessed at:

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities/cumberland-plain-woodlands.html

Further information on the listing of threatened ecological communities under the EPBC Act can be found at: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities.html.

Action:

Send your comments in support of the listing of Cumberland Plain Woodland as an endangered ecological community under the EPBC Act to Mr Matthew White, Director, Ecological Communities Section, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601. Comments can also be sent by email to http://hsi.org.au/editor/scripts/epbc.nominations@environment.gov.au or by fax on (02) 6274 2214. Stress that the community warrants listing as critically endangered due to its continued severe decline despite being listed as endangered under state and federal environment laws for over 10 years. Highlight the continued threats to the community from urban expansion in western Sydney where only fragments of the original extent of the community remain, and that increased protection is essential to guarantee its recovery and survival.

Please send us copies of any responses you receive.





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