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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment


23 September 1998

The Federal Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill announced today the listing of the Cumberland Plains Woodland in western Sydney as an endangered ecological community under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Act.

Senator Hill said "this is the first time the habitat of Australian native species has been listed as nationally endangered."

Senator Hill will be inspecting some of the endangered woodland sites with Federal Member for Lindsay Jackie Kelly around Penrith this afternoon.

Senator Hill said that "the listing of native habitat is a major advance for nature conservation in Australia.

"For the first time, endangered bushland will receive the same protection as individual endangered species.

"As Australian's we all have a responsibility to protect our precious biological diversity.

The Cumberland Plains Woodland are found only on soils derived from shale on the Cumberland Plain west of Sydney. The woodlands comprise trees of Grey Box, Forest Red Gum and in some areas Narrow-leaved Ironbark.

Senator Hill said "this woodland was once found in abundance but has been reduced to a few fragmented stands as a result of clearing originally for farming and later for industry and housing.

"Only 6 percent, or just over 6,000 hectares of the woodland remains.

"Although some areas occur within conservation reserves, this in itself will not be sufficient to ensure the long-term survival of the woodland."

For further information:
Peter Cosier 0419 693 811

Commonwealth of Australia