Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends have been concerned for some time about Lendlease’s housing developments on the Gilead estate near Campbelltown and their effect on the local koala population.
On the 26th of October, at Lendlease’s invitation, the Nannas visited their Figtree Hill housing development site and were given a presentation by Mr Brendan O’Brien, Lendlease Head of Strategic Planning (Australian Property). We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Lendlease has agreed to set aside the crucial parcel of land known as 22A for a koala corridor.
On the 2nd of November, Campbelltown Council passed the Proposed Amendment of Campbelltown Local Environmental Plan 2015 after a presentation by Mr O’Brien where he assured councillors that 22A would be set aside for a wildlife corridor. However, no adjustments to this effect were made to the plans submitted to the Council.
Sydney Knitting Nannas have requested Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning, to require 22A is rezoned as a permanent wildlife corridor before approval of this Proposed Amendment.
Additionally, koalas need safe passage across Appin Road where many are killed each year. In their website update of 24th September 2021, Lendlease state that they are ready to fund and build two koala underpasses beneath Appin Road, but that they need NSW Government consent to construct this infrastructure. At our meeting, Mr O’Brien complained that, although they first made their offer to Government two years ago, that offer remains unanswered. He pointed out that current DPIE policy proposes koala-proof fencing along the length of Appin Rd, which would prevent east-west movement of koalas unless these underpasses were built.
Therefore the Nannas have requested Rob Stokes, as Minister for Transport and Roads, to speedily provide consent to the building of these underpasses, and
- recognise east-west koala corridors in public policy documents and
- ensure that any koala exclusion fencing along Appin Rd leads into underpasses at both Noorumba and Beulah Reserves.
We also requested that, if the proposed widening of Appin Rd is to go ahead, it be done with the Campbelltown koalas uppermost in the Government’s mind. Employment of wildlife experts should be an integral part of the planning process, to advise on methods which will cause koalas the least possible danger and stress.
Furthermore we requested the wildlife underpasses and associated protective fencing be completed before the commencement of work on the Lendlease developments.
The Knitting Nannas believe that our requests will give the Campbelltown koalas access to east-west passage through the Lendlease Fig Tree Hill housing developments and thus the best chance of survival under the difficult circumstances that they face.
Image: Nannas post a letter to Minister Rob Stokes