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.
The State of the Environment Report (2021) details the decline of Australia’s biodiversity, with clearing of 7.7million hectares of threatened species habitat across the country between 2000 and 2017. Lendlease acknowledges that industry has a part to play in working with government to repair environmental damage.
The project site has endured years of farming and continued land clearing that has impacted habitat and resulted in erosion and loss of biodiversity.
Through significant investment in conservation to restore and prevent further degradation, the project has an ambitious plan to increase and protect habitat by 30% to what exists today.
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 building, subject to government approval, two koala crossings at Noorumba Reserve and Beulah Reserve. We will also enable safe passage across the historic upper canal.
Establish mitigation measures and a predator control program to separate koalas from threats. This includes over 25km of protective 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.
The Lendlease proposal 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. Learn more about the 35 actions in our Koala Conservation Plan.
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 and exotic weeds are being removed.
Over the next two years the project will plant over 15,800 trees and shrubs within the conservation areas, building upon the 2,000 that have already been planted. The project team has also collected seeds and is growing plants that are native to the site and can be replanted to revegetate and enhance biodiversity.
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.