Castlereagh, Agnes Banks and Windsor Downs Nature Reserves Draft Amendment to the Plan of Management: Return of threatened and declining species and improving ecosystem health: Public consultation

The Castlereagh, Agnes Banks and Windsor Downs Nature Reserves Draft Amendment to the Plan of Management has closed for comment.

Public exhibition of the draft amendment provided members of the community with the opportunity to have a say in the management directions for these reserves. Opportunities to comment closed 8 March 2021.

The reserves are on the Cumberland Plain in Western Sydney.

What is a plan of management?

Parks and reserves established under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 need to have a plan of management. The plan includes information on important reserve values and provides directions for future management. Once the plan is adopted, no management operations can be undertaken in the reserves unless they are consistent with the plan.

Plans of management may be amended to support changes to reserve management or proposed works.

Why was an amendment being prepared?

The NSW Government proposes to create a feral predator-free area for native plants and animals within Castlereagh Nature Reserve or Windsor Downs Nature Reserve. This will be done by constructing feral predator-proof fencing, eradicating feral predators from within the fenced area, and reintroducing appropriate native animals. Areas such as this have already been created in several parks in western NSW as part of our Saving our Species Program.

Community and stakeholder feedback, environmental and heritage assessments and operational constraints at Castlereagh and Windsor Downs Nature Reserves will play an important role in helping us determine the final location of the feral predator-free area.

Feral predators have had a significant impact on Australian native animals, particularly those medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals that are highly susceptible to predation by cats and foxes.

A feral predator-free area will provide a unique opportunity to inform residents of western Sydney about the natural values of the Cumberland Plain, its native animals, the threats posed by feral predators and other pests, and the importance of protecting remaining habitat fragments.

Once adopted the amendment will enable the construction of a feral predator-free area and an education centre, to help community understanding of the program and its benefits.

When will the amendment be finalised?

At the close of the public exhibition period, we consider all submissions on the draft amendment and prepare a submissions report. We provide the Greater Sydney Regional Advisory Committee and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council with the amendment, all the submissions and the submissions report. They consider the documents, make comments on the amendment or suggest changes, and provide advice to the Minister for Energy and Environment.

The Minister considers the amendment, submissions and advice, makes any necessary changes and decides whether to adopt the amendment under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Once an amendment is adopted, it is published on the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) website and key stakeholders, including those who made a submission on the draft amendment, will be notified.

How can I get more information about the draft amendment?

For further information about the draft amendment please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service Planning Team at npws.parkplanning@environment.nsw.gov.au