Under the Western Sydney strategic assessment, the New South Wales (NSW) Government is seeking approval for development in 4 nominated growth areas and 4 major transport corridors. Strategic assessments let us consider impacts to protected matters on a broad scale. Projects or activities covered by an approved strategic assessment don't need individual approval.
Strategic assessments are a collaboration between the Australian Government and an assessment partner. This collaboration allows for a big-picture approach to safeguarding protected matters from the impacts of development over a long time.
The Western Sydney strategic assessment on this page is being progressed. This means the Environment minister signed an agreement with a partner to undertake a strategic assessment. The partner is now working to develop the required information.
In 2016, 740,000 people lived in Western Sydney. This is likely to grow to 1.1 million by 2036. And by 2056, well over 1.5 million people are forecast to live in Western Sydney.
The Western Sydney City Deal is an agreement between the Australian and NSW governments. It commits both governments to delivering transport, investment and jobs for the growing region. This strategic assessment delivers one of the commitments of the Western Sydney City Deal.
The NSW Government developed the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) for the strategic assessment.
The CPCP identifies the most important biodiversity in 197,000 ha across all or part of the 8 Western Sydney council areas:
- Camden Council
- City of Blacktown
- City of Campbelltown
- City of Fairfield
- City of Hawkesbury
- City of Liverpool
- City of Penrith
- Wollondilly Shire.
The CPCP also:
- sets out where and how development will happen to minimise impact on protected matters under the EPBC Act
- helps to grow and sustain the environment.
It includes 4 new growth areas in Western Sydney:
- Greater Macarthur Growth Area
- Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek Investigation Area
- Western Sydney Aerotropolis
- Wilton Growth Area.
Each will have new suburbs with facilities and services.
Finally, the CPCP will also create 4 major transport corridors for future roads and rail in Western Sydney.
View the CPCP mapping.
NSW developed 2 sub-plans to support the CPCP implementation:
- Implementation Plan
- Koala Management Plan.
These plans set out actions to be taken and timeframes to help the NSW Government meet the commitments of the CPCP.
On 12 November 2018, the 2 governments signed the agreement to do a strategic assessment.
The agreement shows the process to follow for the strategic assessment and rules that apply under the EPBC Act.
The ministers who signed it were:
- the Commonwealth Environment minister
- the NSW Government's Minister for Planning and Minister for the Environment.
Agreement for the strategic assessment of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (PDF 1.21 MB)
Agreement for the strategic assessment of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (DOCX 1.56 MB)
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for a strategic assessment detail how the strategic assessment partner is to assess the impacts of their proposed development activities.
The NSW Government sought comments on the draft terms of reference from 28 November 2018 to 25 January 2019.
Final terms of reference (PDF 57 KB)
Final terms of reference (DOCX 20 KB)
Strategic assessment report
The strategic assessment was completed according to section 146 of the EPBC Act.
Subsequently, the NSW Government commissioned a strategic assessment report.
The report assessed the CPCP's proposed developments' impacts on protected matters under the EPBC Act.
View the final strategic assessment report (PDF 14.9MB).
Read the addendum and supporting documents, including the:
- assessment report summary
- addendum report 1
- addendum report 2
- assessment report supporting documents.
The draft CPCP was open to the public for comment from 26 August to 2 November 2020.
The CPCP was finalised with NSW approvals in place in August 2022.
A decision on whether or not to approve the actions under the EPBC Act is expected in late 2022.
View the final Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (PDF 10.2MB).
Get in touch
Contact our Referrals Gateway team:
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 1800 423 135 between 9 am and 5 pm Canberra time.