The Minister for the Department of the Environment and Energy, along with the New South Wales Government Minister for Planning and the Minister for the Environment, signed an agreement on 12 November 2018 to undertake a strategic assessment of the proposed urban development of Western Sydney around the Western Sydney Airport.
The Western Sydney Strategic Assessment is an important commitment under the Western Sydney City Deal, an agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW governments and Western Sydney Mayors, to deliver rail, investment and jobs for Western Sydney. Information about other commitments under the City Deal can be found at:
The development will be guided by the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (the Plan) which will set out where and how the development will occur to ensure the protection and conservation of matters protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and support the growth of a prosperous and liveable environment. The New South Wales Government will seek the Commonwealth Minister’s endorsement of the Plan for purposes of approval of the development under national environmental law. Further details are provided in the public comment section at the bottom of this page.
The Plan will contribute to the Western Parkland City by supporting the delivery of housing, jobs and infrastructure while protecting important biodiversity. It will also deliver on commitments and a series of planned and managed actions designed to offset biodiversity impacts from housing and infrastructure development.
Why undertake the Western Sydney Strategic Assessment?
The population of Western Sydney is projected to grow from 740,000 in 2016 to 1.1 million by 2036, and to well over 1.5 million by 2056.
The Plan will guide the development of Western Sydney over the next 38 years through identifying the most important biodiversity areas across an area covering 197,000 ha, including seven Local Government Areas – Wollondilly, Campbelltown, Camden, Liverpool, Fairfield, Penrith and Hawkesbury – and put plans in place to protect those areas for the long-term.
What development is proposed on the Cumberland Plain in Western Sydney?
The Plan includes four new growth areas in Western Sydney: the Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek Urban Release Investigation Area; the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area; the Greater Macarthur Growth Area; and the Wilton Growth Area. Each of the growth areas will contain new suburbs with high grade community facilities and services. The Plan will also address major transport corridors for future roads and rail in Western Sydney. A map of the proposed development is provided below:
Strategic assessment agreement
The agreement setting out the scope, process and expected outcomes of the strategic assessment is provided below:
Strategic Assessment of the impacts of actions taken under the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan on matters protected by Part 3 of the EPBC Act (PDF - 1.19 MB)
Strategic Assessment of the impacts of actions taken under the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan on matters protected by Part 3 of the EPBC Act (DOCX - 1.56 MB)
Terms of Reference
An important first step in developing the draft Plan was Public Exhibition of the draft Terms of Reference for the Western Sydney Strategic Assessment under the EPBC Act.
The EPBC Act requires that Terms of Reference be prepared and agreed to guide the impact assessment and preparation of an assessment report.
The NSW Government's Department of Planning, Industry and Environment sought comments on the draft Terms of Reference between 28 November 2018 and 25 January 2019. Submissions were taken into consideration when finalising the draft terms.
The final Terms of Reference for the Western Sydney Strategic Assessment have now been finalised and can be accessed, with public submissions report, on the NSW Government website at:
Publication of the Draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan for public comment
The NSW Government has prepared the draft Plan and the draft Strategic Assessment Report.
The draft Plan sets out where and how the development will occur to ensure the protection and conservation of matters protected under the EPBC Act. The draft Strategic Assessment Report assesses the impacts that will occur as a result of actions taken under the proposed draft Plan.
The NSW Government invites public comments on both these documents for a period of at least 28 calendar days, from 26 August until 25 September 2020, at the links below:
- Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan Home Page – offers background of the draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan process.
- Planning Portal – provides the NSW Government webpage location where exhibition documents are available to download, and where you can make a submission.
- Spatial Viewer – identifies the strategic conservation area, and land categories for each nominated area, and provides an opportunity to see relevant mapping information from landscape to property scale.