From the Total Environment Centre:

Over 100 representatives of dozens of community groups are meeting today to plan defence and expansion of Sydney’s Green Grid, in the face of multiple threats and lack of protection in the Greater Sydney Commission draft plans.

“Sydney’s unique green environment is disappearing before our eyes and the State Government is doing nothing to address the situation”, Jeff Angel, Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre warned today.

“While the Greater Sydney Commission has been very active in promoting the importance of Sydney’s green spaces through its Green Grid concept, the Draft District Plans fail to move from the rhetoric to concrete processes that will ensure  Sydney remains the green and biodiverse city it is internationally renowned for.  This will make Sydney more of a concrete jungle leading to adverse health impacts and worsening heat and pollution.”

“Total Environment Centre has now recorded over 80 areas under threat and our SOS Green Spaces Battle Map is still growing.  Cooper’s Paddock is an example. In the Southwest Draft District Plan, this area is identified as a ‘Green Grid’ opportunity and contains extensive areas of woodland supporting a number of threatened species. Yet there is no recognition in the Draft District Plan that a major part of Cooper’s Paddock is currently under threat from industrial development1” Mr Angel continued.

“The Draft District Plans do contain a number of ‘Sustainability Priorities’ and ‘Actions’ to implement Sydney’s Green Grid, however, many of these are left up to the discretion of Local Government – there is no guaranteed protection.”

“This is simply not adequate and it is certainly not going to deliver the sort of Green Grid that will conserve the wonderful green environment that Sydney currently enjoys, nor expand it for future generations,” said Mr Angel.

“The reality is that there is a long way to go when it comes to Governments recognising the incredible social, environmental and economic values green spaces deliver for local communities.  This lack of appreciation means that Governments often find it easier – and cheaper – to concede green space for developments or infrastructure, than to look at alternatives.” said Mr Angel.

“What we desperately need now is for the State Government to step in and enact some real Sydney-wide protections to ensure that Sydney’s special environment is preserved for current and future generations. Without such protections, there is a real concern that our green spaces as we know them today will be drastically reduced due to development pressures.” Mr Angel said.