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The Hon. Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt MP
New South Wales Minister for Climate Change and the Environment

New conservation reserve for Western Sydney

Joint media release
13 June 2009

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The NSW and Commonwealth governments have joined forces to bring the 181 hectare former Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook into the public reserve system to form a new conservation reserve in Sydney's west.

It will protect some of the Sydney's most endangered species, provide a critical wildlife corridor and secure additional green space for the residents of Sydney's west.

Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, said the purchase would mean the property was saved from future development.

"The previous Federal Government sold this site to a developer in 2004. Today is really important as we deliver on our election commitment to work with the State to preserve critical areas of Cumberland Plain woodland for future generations to enjoy.

"This land is an essential part of the green corridor which stretches from the former ADI site through to the base of the Blue Mountains," Mr Garrett said.

"I know from my discussions with the local MP, David Bradbury, who has been very active on this issue that residents in this area have been concerned about the future of this site and so I'm really pleased to announce its long term protection."

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Carmel Tebbutt said the land would be part of the Wianamatta network of reserves managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which includes the former ADI site at St Mary's.

"This is an area of significant conservation value that will make an outstanding addition to the network of parks in western Sydney," Ms Tebbutt said.

"This land is home to an important part of the Cumberland Plain vegetation and an estimated 10 per cent of the remaining Castlereagh Swamp Woodland endangered ecological community.

"A total of 76 native animal species have been recorded on the site including sugar gliders, eastern grey kangaroos, ring tailed possums and echidnas.

"The purchase is part of an ongoing commitment to conserve the native plants and animals of the Cumberland Plain with 14,780 hectares now protected forever in national park reserves across western Sydney.

"Many people in western Sydney have played a role in highlighting the important conservation values of Cranebrook - in particular the Western Sydney Conservation Alliance has been a vocal advocate for protecting this site.

"The NSW Government looks forward to working with them to rehabilitate and restore the area to be a superior conservation site."

Federal Member for Lindsay David Bradbury said:

"This is a win for the environment in Western Sydney, and I am pleased to be delivering on this important election commitment.

"The site was sold by the former Federal Government in 2004 without any community consultation and without regard for its enormous conservation value. I am pleased to be part of a Rudd Government that has recognised the need to preserve this site and restore it to public ownership."

NSW Member for Londonderry Allan Shearan said the purchase was a win for the people of western Sydney.

"The site supports a diverse and abundant array of rare plant species including the Nodding Geebung, Bynoe's Wattle and the Juniper-leaved Grevillea," Mr Shearan said.

"The property also contains a number of important Aboriginal archaeological sites and it will now be protected for the people of western Sydney into the future."

Commonwealth of Australia