The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) is a plan to replace the standard rules which require developers to set aside land for conservation and instead to replace these rules with a new ‘strategic’ approval.
It would approve all the largest development proposals in Sydney’s west including the Gilead-to-Appin housing estates, M9 Orbital freeway and the corporate agriculture precinct surrounding Western Sydney Airport.
The developments included in the CPCP will clear 10,470 hectares of land and destroy more than 10% of the entire Cumberland Plain Woodland ecosystem.
They will also permanently isolate koalas from much of SouthWest Sydney, destroy Aboriginal burial grounds, and force more than 50 residents from their homes.
The CPCP will replace developer’s legal requirements to compensate for (‘offset’) this damage. Will the CPCP be an improvement? This depends on whether key shortcomings are addressed:
- Locking in sufficient funding
- Staging development to the satisfactory completion of offsets
- Conserving corridors including the CCC & Gilead Koala Corridor
- Conserving intact bushland instead of planting trees
- Ensuring all offsets are new – not existing public reserves
- Ensuring developers pay for offsets – not the taxpayer
It is vital that the community is heard and changes are made to both the developments proposed and the offsets offered under the CPCP.
KEY FACTS & FIGURES
Total land to be cleared/developed = 10,470 hectares
Total endangered ecosystems destroyed = 1,780 ha
Total Cumberland Plain Woodland destroyed = 1,014 hectares
Proportion of Cumberland Plain Woodland ecosystem destroyed = >10%
Area of wildlife habitat to be isolated by roads/development = 12,807 ha
Proportion of the Cumberland Plain region to be isolated = 59%
Endangered species impacted = Unknown*little/no survey
Total funding offered (developer contributions) = $84 M instalment *total unknown
Total offsets required = 5,475 hectares
Cumberland Plain Woodland offsets required = 3,170 hectares
Aboriginal sites destroyed (total) = Unknown *little/no survey
Aboriginal burial grounds destroyed = At least 2
Homes to be evicted for development = At least 20
Homes to be evicted for reserves(developers offsets) = At least 30
Existing National Park land destroyed = >84 hectares
Existing Conservation/Restoration areas destroyed = At least 8
KEY CHANGES TO ASK FOR!
KEY CHANGES TO PROPOSED DEVELOPMENTS
o Protect a 500 m wide koala corridor at Mount Gilead
o Tunnel 2 km to save Wianamatta Regional Park
o Extend the Camden Tunnel 4 km south and 6 km north – saving EMAI-to-Razorback Wildlife Corridor, Cobbitty Hills & homes
o Clearing 10% of the entire Cumberland Plain Woodland ecosystem is unacceptable
KEY CHANGES TO PROPOSED OFFSETS
o Protect the Cumberland Conservation Corridor within the Strategic Conservation Area (SCA)
o Allow smaller lots to be eligible for offsetting (SCA) and improve
offset funding accordingly
o Demand new, large public reserves of Cumberland Plain Woodland (CPW) to offset loss of CPW in three National Parks
o Restore the focus of offsets to Cumberland Plain Woodland – the ecosystem most impacted by these developments
o Protest landowner-specific exclusions in the SCA
SCRAP THE FAILED ‘AVOIDED LAND’ model (E2 ZONING & CREEKS)
o CPCP riparian corridors and small bushland parcels are left in nomans-land, neither developed nor conserved as offsets
o The Western Sydney Growth Centres program shows that this model fails – no agency wants to own or manage the unfunded creek corridors, and landowners on E2 zoned lands (left ineligible as offsets) illegally clear bushland
o Scrap the ‘avoided’ category – land in development precincts should either be developed or fully funded as an offset.
ADEQUATE BUDGET LOCKED IN UP-FRONT: The CPCP must lock in a
sufficient budget up-front to ensure offsets are actually delivered, as per the $540 M Western Sydney Growth Centres offset program
STAGING DEVELOPMENT to MATCH DELIVERY OF OFFSETS: The CPCP must stage development and require the satisfactory delivery of offsets from each stage before further development proceeds (as per the Western Sydney Growth Centres)
NO PUBLIC LAND FOR DEVELOPER OFFSETS: Stop the CPCP using loopholes in NSW law to relabel existing public reserves as offsets for
developers. This denies us new green spaces and denies farmers funding
to conserve bushland on their land. Demand that no offsets are created on existing public reserves of any kind.
NEW CONSERVATION RESERVES, NOT PLANTING: The CPCP tries to cut
developers costs by replacing the requirement for new conservation areas with tree planting on waste land (The Confluence). Research demonstrates that neither traditional nor scalp-and-seed revegetation compensates for clearing Cumberland Plain Woodland. We need to save the woodlands that remain, not plant seedlings.
NO TAXPAYER SUBSIDY OF DEVELOPER OFFSETS
CPCP – HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY
Email or call MPs…
The biggest impact you can have is your vote. Politicians, not public agencies, will decide on this plan. Let them know what you think.
BIGGEST IMPACT: Your local MP: You can find your Local State and Federal MP by entering your postcode here.
o Federal members contact details are available here.
o State members contact details are available here.
GOOD IMPACT: contact NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes:
o Phone (02) 8574 6707
o Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Moderate impact: contact NSW Environment Minister
o Phone (02) 8574 6150
o Email email@example.com
Write a submission…
You can lodge a submission until Friday 9th October 2020 here.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU CONTACT LOCAL POLITICIANS AS WELL.
ADDITIONAL INFO… and the above information files for sharing…