Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

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 Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 8231 to 8235 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 148 dated 16 October 1998. 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 Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest (STIF) is the name given to the plant community that is characterised by the following assemblage of species:


Acacia decurrens

Acacia falcata

Acacia implexa

Acacia longifolia

Acacia myrtifolia

Acacia parramattensis

Allocasuarina torulosa

Angophora costata

Angophora floribunda

Aristida vagans

Billardiera scandens

Breynia oblongifolia

Bursaria spinosa

Centella asiatica

Cheilanthes sieberi

Clematis aristata

Clematis glycinoides

Clerodendrum tomentosum

Commelina cyanea

Corymbia gummifera

Daviesia ulicifolia

Dianella caerulea

Dichelachne rara

Dichondra repens

Dodonaea triquetra

Echinopogon caespitosus

Elaeocarpus reticulatus

Entolasia marginata

Entolasia stricta

Eucalyptus acmenoides

Eucalyptus globoidea

Eucalyptus paniculata

Eucalyptus resinifera

Exocarpos cupressiformis

Glycine clandestina

Goodenea hederacea

Goodenia heterophylla

Hardenbergia violacea

Imperata cylindrica

Indigofera australis

Kennedia rubicunda

Kunzea ambigua

Lepidosperma laterale

Leucopogon juniperinus

Lomandra longifolia

Melaleuca decora

Microlaena stipoides

Notelaea longifolia

Oplismenus aemulus

Oxalis exilis

Ozothamnus diosmifolius

Pandorea pandorana

Panicum simile

Pittosporum revolutum

Pittosporum undulatum

Poa affinis

Polyscias sambucifolius

Pomax umbellata

Poranthera microphylla

Pratia purpurascens

Pseuderanthemum variabile

Rapanea variabilis

Rubus parvifolius

Smilax glyciphylla

Stipa pubescens

Syncarpia glomulifera

Themeda australis

Tylophora barbata

Veronica plebeia

Zieria smithii




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. The structure of the community was originally forest, but may now exist as woodland or as remnant trees.


4. Characteristic tree species in the STIF are Syncarpia glomulifera, Eucalyptus globoidea, Eucalyptus resinifera, Eucalyptus paniculata, Angophora costata and Angophora floribunda.


5. Species composition varies between sites depending on geographical location and local conditions (e.g. topography, rainfall, exposure).


6. STIF occurs within the local government areas Ashfield, Auburn, Canterbury, Concord, Drummoyne, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Bankstown, Ryde, Hunters Hill, Baulkham Hills, Ku-ring-gai, Hornsby, Parramatta, Bankstown, Rockdale, Kogarah, Hurstville, Sutherland. The area is within the County of Cumberland and entirely within the Sydney Basin Bioregion. Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).


7. In many of these LGAs particularly in the inner western suburbs, only remnant trees may remain. These may have particular ecological and genetic significance and may be important sources of propagation material for use in rehabilitation projects.


8. STIF typically occurs on areas with clay soils derived from Wianamatta Shale, or shale layers within Hawkesbury Sandstone.


9. Occurrences of STIF may occur on plateaus and hillsides and on the margins of shale cappings over sandstone.


10. STIF is referred to in Benson & Howell 1990 and in UBBS (1997). It includes vegetation described as map unit 9o of Benson (1992) and Benson & Howell (1994).


11. STIF provides habitat for a number of plant species recognised as being of regional conservation significance in UBBS (1997). These include:

Acacia stricta

Arthropodum milleflorum

Brachychiton populneus

Chloris truncata

Danthonia linkii

Danthonia racemosa

Daviesia genistifolia

Einadia nutans

Einadia polygonoides

Einadia trigonos

Elymus scaber

Glycine microphylla

Lasiopetalum parviflorum

Lepidosperma gunnii

Leucopogon juniperinus

Marsdenia viridiflora

Omalanthus stillingifolius

Opercularia hispida

Paspalidium criniforme

Platylobium formosum

Pomaderris lanigera

Senecio hispidulus

Sporobolus creber

Stipa rudis subsp. nervosa


12. STIF has an understorey that may be either grassy and herbaceous or of a shrubby nature. STIF can have a dense understorey in areas that have not been burnt for an extended period of time.


13. Adjacent communities on sandstone soils are generally part of the Sydney Sandstone Complex (see Benson & Howell 1990).


14. It is estimated that only 0.5 % of the original area of STIF exists in the form of a number of remnants.


15. Only small areas of STIF are presently included in conservation reserves.


16. Large areas of STIF have been cleared for agriculture and urban development. Remnants are small and scattered. Identified threats include: clearing, physical damage from recreational activities, rubbish dumping, grazing, mowing, weed invasion.


17. In view of the small size of existing remnants, the threat of further clearing and other known threats, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion is likely to become extinct in nature unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate and that listing as an endangered community is warranted.



Dr Richard Major


Scientific Committee


Proposed Gazettal date: 02/12/11

Exhibition period: 02/12/11 – 03/02/12




UBBS (1997) Urban Bushland Biodiversity Survey (NSW National Park and Wildlife Service: Hurstville).


Benson, D. & Howell, J. (1990) Taken for granted: the bushland of Sydney and its suburbs. (Kangaroo Press: Kenthurst).


Benson, D. (1992) The natural vegetation of the Penrith 1:100 000 map sheet. Cunninghamia 2(4):541-596.

Benson, D. & Howell, J. (1994) The natural vegetation of the Sydney 1:100 000 map sheet. Cunninghamia 3(4):677-722.


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: 02 December 2011