Our commitment to conservation is fundamental to our vision to create the best places for people today and for generations to come. The Figtree Hill and Gilead precincts will be defined by the conservation areas and green open spaces that are integral to the project.
At completion, the community will be surrounded by over 280 hectares of land that will be dedicated to conservation. This area will be larger than Sydney’s CBD. The conservation areas and fauna crossings under Appin Road will support the growth of the local koala population and deliver two connected east-west corridors between the Georges and Nepean River.
Koala Corridor Map
The Government has identified koala corridors which span across bushland along the Nepean River, Menangle Creek, Woodhouse Creek, and the Georges River and covers areas owned by several landowners.
To help preserve these areas, the planning and environmental approvals we are seeking for Gilead would see 200 hectares of the koala corridor protected, including the restoration of 50 hectares of cleared land through extensive bushland regeneration. These corridors would be protected with koala fencing, with gates and bushland tracks providing access along the waterways.
The depicted koala corridors are indicative and based on information published by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and remain subject to government approvals.
“The site contains remnant patches of native vegetation, heavily vegetated riparian corridors and gullies, and agricultural land that has a long history of disturbance associated with cattle grazing and horse agistments since the 1850’s.” NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, 2020
The Lendlease proposal includes a fully funded Koala Conservation Plan, that commits over $35 million to achieving the following:
Improve biodiversity through the repair and reconstruction of habitat to help increase quality and reconnect areas that are currently fragmented across the site. The restoration work will regenerate land, that was previously cleared for farming, increasing core koala habitat by 30% to what exists today.
Facilitate safe east-west koala movement through the site by funding, subject to government approval, two koala underpasses near Noorumba Reserve and Beulah. We will also work with Water NSW to enable safe passage across the historic upper canal which currently block connectivity due to fencing.
Koala exclusion fencing
Establish mitigation measures and a predator control program to separate koalas from threats. This includes over 25km of koala exclusion fencing around the conservation areas and along Appin Road. An education program and urban design will support responsible dog ownership and safe driving to reduce threats.
Management and research
Adopt a science-based approach to on-going management. This includes annual surveys and koala monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the conservation areas and predator control programs. Collaboration with universities and organisations to provide research opportunities, gain knowledge and improve performance.
Koala Conservation Plan
Our Koala Conservation Plan includes 35 actions designed to increase habitat and mitigate risks so that local koalas can thrive and reconnect populations that inhabit the Nepean and Georges rivers.
In preparing the Koala Conservation Plan and Gilead proposal Lendlease has followed recommendations and expert advice by the NSW Government and Chief Scientist & Engineer. Our proposal meets or exceeds all 31 principles for koala protection outlined by the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (May 2021). Click here for our response.
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer
Advice regarding the protection of koala populations associated with the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (May 2021)
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer
Advice on the Campbelltown Koala Population (August 2020)
NSW Department of Planning and Environment
Greater Macarthur 2040 (December 2021)
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has assessed the proposed conservation corridors and confirmed that they apply the recommendations and subsequent expert advice of the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. The Department has published an indicative map outlining the koala corridors at Gilead. View the map on their website.
The Department and Campbelltown City Council have adopted Lendlease proposal to construct two fauna underpasses and fencing of Appin Road, to complement wildlife crossings and reconnect corridors at Gilead. Learn more about how Campbelltown City Council has been an advocate for the conservation of Campbelltown’s koala population at Gilead.
The regeneration program is well underway at Figtree Hill focusing on three designated conservation areas which protect 22 hectares of remnant bushland and wildlife habitat. The protected areas have been fenced, exotic weeds are being removed and we have planted 6235 trees and shrubs.
In 2022 Lendlease submitted a proposal to Campbelltown City Council to regenerate 18 hectares environmentally degraded and cleared land that has endured multiple generations of farming along Menangle Creek at the northern end of the Figtree Hill development.
The proposal includes important reconstruction work to modify fencing and make it safer for wildlife to overcome barriers, like the Upper Canal, which currently blocks connectivity.