Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

NSW Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 (Endangered ecological communities) of the Act by inserting the Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 12389 to 12392 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 144 dated 24 December 1999. Minor amendments to the Schedules are provided for by Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act.


The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the amendment is necessary or desirable to correct minor errors or omissions in the Determination in relation to the Thackway and Cresswell (1995) reference.


The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. The Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland is the name given to the plant community from the local government areas of Wollongong City, Shellharbour City, and Kiama Municipality (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion sensu Thackway and Cresswell 1995) that is characterised by the following assemblage of species:


Acacia falcata

Acacia implexa

Acacia maidenii

Acacia mearnsii

Acacia stricta

Allocasuarina littoralis

Angophora floribunda

Aristida ramosa

Aristida vagans

Athropodium milleflorum

Boronia polygalifolia

Bothriochloa macra

Brachychiton populneus

Brunoniella pumilio

Bursaria spinosa

Callistemon salignus

Carex longebrachiata

Cheilanthes sieberi

Citriobatus pauciflorus

Commelina cyanea

Cymbopogon refractus

Daviesia genistifolia

Daviesia ulicifolia

Desmodium rhytidophyllum

Desmodium varians

Dianella revoluta

Dichondra repens

Dodonaea viscosa var angustifolia

Echinopogon caespitosus

Echinopogon ovatus

Entolasia stricta

Eragrostis sp.

Eucalyptus amplifolia

Eucalyptus bosistoana

Eucalyptus botryoides

Eucalyptus botryoides/saligna

Eucalyptus eugenioides

Eucalyptus longifolia

Eucalyptus pilularis

Eucalyptus tereticornis

Gahnia radula

Geitonoplesium cymosum

Geranium solanderi

Glycine sp.

Goodenia hederacea subsp hederacea

Hardenbergia violacea

Hibbertia aspera

Hypericum gramineum

Hypoxis hygrometrica

Jacksonia scoparia

Kennedia rubicunda

Lepidosperma laterale

Leucopogon juniperinum

Lomandra filiformis

Lomandra multiflora

Melaleuca decora

Melaleuca styphelioides

Microlaena stipoides

Oplismenus aemulus

Oplismenus imbecillis

Panicum sp.

Parsonsia straminea

Plectranthus parviflorus

Poa labillardieri

Pratia purpurascens

Pultenaea retusa

Pultenaea villosa

Rubus parvifolius

Stellaria flaccida

Themeda australis

Tricoryne elatior

Veronica calycina

Wahlenbergia sp.


2. The total species list of the community is considerably larger than that given in 1 (above), with many species present in only one or two sites or in very small quantity. In any particular site not all of the assemblage listed in 1 may be present. At any one time, seeds of some species may only be present in the soil seed bank with no above-ground individuals present. The species composition of the site will be influenced by the size of the site and by its recent disturbance history. The number of species and the above-ground composition of species will change with time since fire, and may also change in response to changes in fire frequency.


3. Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland has been recorded from the local government areas of Wollongong City, Shellharbour City and Kiama Municipality (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion). Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).


4. Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland includes the Yallah Woodland and Mills’ (1997) communities of the Floodplains, communities of the Ridges and Slopes (Dry communities) and communities of the lower escarpment (Moist communities), but does not include Floodplain Communities dominated by Casuarina species or rainforest on latite soils.


5. Characteristic tree species in the Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland are Eucalyptus tereticornis, Eucalyptus eugenioides, Eucalyptus longifolia, Eucalyptus bosistoana and Melaleuca decora.


6. Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland occurs on relatively gently sloping to undulating lands less than about 200 m elevation on Berry Siltstone, Budgong Sandstone and Quaternary alluvium.


7. Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland provides habitat for the endangered orchid Pterostylis gibbosa.


8. No areas of Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland are presently included in formal conservation reserves though some occur in small council reserves including Blackbutt Reserve and Croome Road Reserve in Shellharbour.


9. Large areas of Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland have been cleared. Most remnants are small and fragmented and their long term viability is threatened. Some remnants consist of regrowth after clearing or other disturbances. Identified threats include further clearing, grazing, weed invasion, selective logging, rubbish dumping, housing and hobby farm developments and physical damage from recreational activities.


10. In view of the small size of existing remnants, the threat of further clearing and other threatening processes, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion is likely to become extinct in nature unless factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and that listing as an endangered ecological community is warranted.



Dr Richard Major


Scientific Committee


Proposed Gazettal date: 14/10/11

Exhibition period: 14/10/11 - 9/12/11


Note this ecological community was originally listed in 1999 as indicated in the determination




Kevin Mills & Associates (1997) Ecological Study Figtree Estate and Forest Red Gum Communities of the Illawarra Coastal Plain. (prepared for Stockland Trust Group Ltd Sydney).


Thackway R, Cresswell ID (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia: a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program. (Version 4.0. Australian Nature Conservation Agency: Canberra.)


Page last updated: 14 October 2011