Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Sydney Basin - bioregional-scale conservation

The Sydney Basin Bioregion has the third highest area of conservation-oriented tenures of the NSW bioregions. Together, they occupy about 1,384,418.33 hectares or 38.20 per cent of the bioregion.

National parks and nature reserves (under the NPW Act 1974) make the greatest contribution to the area conserved, with national parks and nature reserves occupying a total area of 1,280,935.95 hectares, or about 35.35 per cent of the bioregion. Of this area, about 1,185,498 hectares is also managed under the Wilderness Act 1987 and is composed of 6 wilderness areas together occupying about 559,624.92 hectares or 15.44 per cent of the bioregion.

Further recognition and protection is also given to national parks in the bioregion in the area known as the Greater Blue Mountains. This has been included on the globally recognised World Heritage list as one of four world heritage areas in NSW. Occupying approximately 1.03 million hectares or almost 28.42 per cent of the bioregion, the area is protected by international convention as well as under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999, which automatically protects all Australian properties that are on the World Heritage list.

Reserves under the Crown Lands Act 1989 that are managed by the NPWS contributes 1,196.23 hectares to the area managed for biodiversity conservation within the bioregion.

Other lands managed under the NPW Act 1974 include: land managed as Aboriginal areas (84.80 hectares or 0.002 per cent of the bioregion); land managed as historic sites (128.34 hectares or 0.004 per cent of the bioregion); land managed as regional parks (4,675.39 hectares or 0.13 per cent of the bioregion) and land managed as state recreation areas (81,904.26 hectares or 2.26 per cent of the bioregion).

In recent years, landholders on 7 properties have entered into voluntary conservation agreements. Together the area managed permanently for conservation management occupies about 604.05 hectares or 0.02 per cent of the bioregion. Landholders on 53 properties also hold wildlife refuges, occupying 13,339.76 hectares or 0.37 per cent of the bioregion. Updated mapping (being undertaken at the time of writing) is likely to increase the area of wildlife refuges.

Landholders on 19 properties have entered into property agreements under the NVC Act (1997). The conservation zones of these agreements occupy about 386.07 hectares or 0.01 per cent of the bioregion

Nine flora reserves under the provisions of the Forestry Act 1916 contribute towards biodiversity conservation in the bioregion, occupying about 1,163.47 hectares or 0.03 per cent of the bioregion.

Also under the provisions of the Forestry Act 1916, State forests (managed primarily for forestry activities but each with various degrees of zoning from commercial forestry to conservation), occupy about 178,066.51 hectares or 4.91 per cent of the bioregion.

Three State Environmental Planning Policies operate in the Sydney Basin Bioregion: SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands) (13,400.29 hectares or 0.37 per cent), SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests) (61.82 hectares or 0.002 per cent of the bioregion) and SEPP 58 (Protecting Sydney's Water Supply) (570,111.54 hectares or 15.73 per cent of the bioregion).

Note: This information is an extract from 'The Bioregions of New South Wales: their biodiversity, conservation and history' (2003) NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville and the data is current for 2003, the date of the publication. 

Documents to download


Parks and reserves in this bioregion



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Page last updated: 24 February 2017