Objective 27 in A Metropolis of Three Cities outlines how the NSW Government seeks to protect and manage biodiversity values across Greater Sydney, from national and State biodiversity conservation legislation to information such as biodiversity mapping. This Planning Priority reinforces the importance of Objective 27 and provides a context to District issues.
Bushland areas and remnant vegetation support the District’s significant biodiversity, provide habitat, help cool the environment and support cleaner waterways and air.
The Eastern City District retains parcels of remnant bushland – making up 1.3 per cent of the District’s area32. Larger portions of urban bushland are found at South Head, Malabar and Wolli Creek, and provide rare opportunities to experience and interpret the original landscape of the District and for local communities to enjoy bushland in an urban setting.
Many areas of urban bushland are on public land managed as green infrastructure by councils, while some is privately owned land, such as golf courses.
Urban bushland, close to some of the District’s most densely populated areas, supports opportunities for nature-based recreation and enhance liveability. Areas of bushland at the edges of urban neighbourhoods need to be managed and enhanced to reduce edgeeffect impacts, such as pollution and nutrients from stormwater runoff, weeds, domestic pets, litter and unmanaged or informal recreation trails.
For the Eastern City District, conservation planning will focus on opportunities to protect and enhance areas of endangered and critically endangered ecological communities.
A strategic approach to protecting the biodiversity in the Eastern City District involves investing in connected bushland corridors and protecting larger pockets of remnant vegetation, as large and connected areas of bushland give the District’s wildlife the greatest chance of survival. Councils are also working together to map opportunities to restore and reconnect areas of habitat in established urban areas. This approach complements the delivery of the Greater Sydney Green Grid. Selected species of trees and understorey plants for parks and street planting in targeted areas support the movement of wildlife and help strengthen connections between areas of habitat.
Strengthening the protection of bushland in urban areas will help preserve the District’s scenic landscape and enhance its tourist and recreational values. Remnant vegetation should be recognised as an asset that can be incorporated into the planning and design of neighbourhoods, for example in parks, school grounds and as street trees.
The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 provides a framework and tools to avoid, minimise and offset impacts on biodiversity through the planning and development assessment process. There are a range of tools available to protect biodiversity on private land, including biodiversity stewardship agreements, conservation agreements and wildlife refuge agreements