The NSW Scientific Committee’s preliminary upgrade of Cumberland Plain Woodland’s status from endangered to critically endangered is the disappointing result of more than 11 years of NSW Government inaction to stop its degradation, the State’s peak environment group said today.
“This is another example of how the NSW Government’s threatened species listing provides no guarantee of protection for our most vulnerable species and habitats,” said Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Although the Cumberland Plain Woodland has been listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Actfor 11 years, the State Government has allowed this valuable ecosystem to suffer a death by a thousand cuts.
“The Woodlands continue to be cleared for development despite this being the biggest threat to their survival.
“The State Government has allowed the loss of some Cumberland Plains Woodland through its biobanking scheme. However, we believe habitat that is endangered should be protected and housing built elsewhere.
“For many years we have been calling for the release of the Government’s Recovery Plan for Cumberland Plain Woodland. They have refused to release it because the plan would require urgent action to save the Woodland.
“The upgrade of the Woodland’s status is an urgent wake up call for the Government that it should use all mechanisms possible to truly conserve this unique and vulnerable nature area.
“The Nature Conservation Council calls on the State Government to immediately ban any further clearing of vegetation in the Cumberland Plain Woodland, and investigate strategies for rehabilitating this area and improving the fitness of its threatened species
“In order to address the state’s biodiversity crisis, the Government must strengthen provisions in the state’s new biodiversity strategy for the protection of all species and ecosystems listed as endangered,” Ms Faehrmann said.