The forests of the New South Wales south coast bushfire region is defined by the boundaries of the South East NSW natural resource management region. It covers over 5.5 million hectares.
The region includes the Yuin, Ngarrigo, Bidwell, Gundungurra and Tharawal nations. Indigenous Land Use Agreements in the region include Twofold Bay and small sections of the Gundungurra Area Agreement. Biamanga National Park and Gulaga National Park are both Aboriginal- owned and jointly managed with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Impacts of the 2019–20 bushfires
More than 1.1 million hectares of the region was burnt, 61 per cent of which burnt at high or very high severity.
Map of the South Coast NSW region following the 2019–20 bushfires
This map shows the extent and severity of the 2019–20 bushfires in the South Coast NSW region.
Important environmental values impacted by the bushfires that were identified by the Expert Panel for management intervention in the region include:
- 12 Threatened Ecological Communities, including Upland Basalt Eucalypt Forests of the Sydney Basin Bioregion and Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens
- 87 animals including Littlejohn’s Tree Frog, Mustard-bellied Snake, Eastern Bristlebird, Stocky Galaxias, Tianjara Crayfish and the Bermagui Bristle Snail
- 126 plant species including the Budawangs Bushpea, Wadbilliga Sticky Boronia, Ettrema Mallee and Budawangs Cliffheath.
Photo: ASasch CC BY-NC 2.0
Photo: David Cook Wildlife Photography licence CC BY-NC 2.0
The Mustard-Bellied Snake is endemic to New South Wales. Lack of ground cover following fire is likely to increase the threat of predators to this species. 36 per cent of its range within the region burnt in the 2019–20 bushfires.
The Long-Nosed Potoroo is a forest-dwelling rat-kangaroo that is found in dense ground cover vegetation. The vulnerable species had 50 per cent of its range within the region burnt in the 2019–20 bushfires.
The shy Eastern Bristlebird mostly occurs in dense, coastal vegetation. This endangered bird has 69 per cent of its range within the region, 24 per cent of which was burnt.
Australian Government bushfire recovery funding in the region
More than $17 million has been invested in recovery of native wildlife and their habitat in the NSW South Coast bushfire region. This investment is in two phases.
Phase 1 – Emergency Response
The Australian Government directly invested $1 million in the forests of the New South Wales south coast bushfire region, as part of the initial $50 million investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and habitats. This includes:
- $750,000 to the South East Local Land Services for pest animal control, weed and sediment control, fencing and revegetation, cultural burning and emergency interventions to prevent species extinctions.
- $216,500 to the New South Wales Government for targeted interventions directly in the south coast region including the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Koala, Pygmy Cypress Pine and Bega Wattle.
Additional funding includes:
- almost $5.4 million for projects where some activities are being undertaken in, or are relevant to, the region. This includes assessment and restoration of litter and log invertebrates and actions to conserve the Euastacus freshwater crayfish.
- $455,000 to the New South Wales Government to support the Smoky Mouse, Paddys River Box, and Camden Woollybutt, whose ranges occur partly in the south coast region.
Phase 2 – Resilience and Recovery
The Australian Government is investing $15 million in the forests of the New South Wales south coast bushfire region under the $110 million Regional Bushfire Recovery Fund to increase the resilience and recovery of fire-affected species, ecological communities and natural assets. This includes:
- $7.16 million to South East Local Land Services for erosion control, Traditional Owner-led healing of country, pest animal control in conjunction with landholders, weed control, revegetation and the creation of refugia for Stocky Galaxias.
- $7.83 million to the New South Wales Government for Traditional Owner-led healing of country, riparian management for habitat recovery, weed control, pest control, and actions to support species, such as restoring habitat for Koala, gliders and Glossy Black Cockatoo and collecting seed to restore the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Sub-tropical Rainforest.
This investment was guided by recommendations from a co-design workshop which was held with stakeholders for the region on 16 September 2020. The workshop report is available on the Workshops and ministerial roundtables page.
A further $1.3 million being invested in this region through 11 projects supported under the $10 million Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program.
A detailed list of funded projects is available on the Activities and Outcomes page.
Australian Government funding for NRM projects is delivered through the Commonwealth’s broader Regional Land Partnerships (RLP) program. A full list of NRM functions and projects can be found on the NRM Complementary investments page.