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Trees and Bushland

Biodiversity is the variety of life. Protecting biodiversity is important for the survival of our planet.

Biodiversity in Georges River

Council completed and adopted the 2021 Biodiversity Study at its meeting on 28 June 2021. The Study is split into two volumes and will inform the future Georges River Biodiversity Strategy and updates to local planning instruments. 

Both volumes of the Study can be found on our Biodiversity webpage. 

Where is Biodiversity Found?

Georges River contains over 300 parks and bushland reserves. These areas are home to a variety of native animals including possums, wallabies, flying-foxes, lizards, echidnas, birds and fish. Several threatened species also call the Georges River home.
As Australian bushland has diminished through increased urbanisation, many native animals have lost their natural homes. As a result, wildlife occasionally seeks sanctuary in homes, backyards and community spaces. Council ensures that any local activity has minimal impact on local native and vulnerable species.

How Can We Help?

Council has prepared a Backyard Biodiversity Guide and Planting Guide for helpful advice on encouraging biodiversity or planting trees on your property.

Planting trees and shrubs is a simple way to help biodiversity. You can view our What's On page for the next tree giveaway or community planting day.

If you're planting trees and shrubs yourself, a list of suitable tree species for planting is on our Tree Planting page. 

The following will also help you increase biodiversity in your local area:

Create a habitat Place sticks, logs and pots around for ground-dwelling species like lizards.
Provide food and water Installing a frog or fish pond is easy, using some rocks and plastic lining. Planting flowering natives and leaving an area of the garden to grow 'messy', even with some weeds, provides a great food source.
Do not use poison Harmful chemicals found in pesticides can harm native plants and animals. Instead, use natural pest-deterrents like white oil and vinegar.
Do not spread noxious weeds Avoid planting environmental weeds and instead plant locally native plants.

Build a Bee Hotel!

Our talented Environmental Sustainability and Waste Team have created this short video with simple instructions to build your own insect hotel to encourage native stingless bees and other animals to your property. Bees and other insects play an important role in our local ecosystem by pollinating plants and preserving our biodiversity.


Hollows as Homes

Hollows as Homes launched in 2016 and is coordinated by the Royal Botanic Garden, the University of Sydney and Australian Museum. Georges River Council is one of many Sydney Councils encouraging the community to visit the Hollows as Homes website and record hollows in mature trees as well as the wildlife that use them!

With your help, Council can learn exactly where our remaining hollow-bearing trees are so that biodiversity conservation efforts can be focused. 

The following tips can also help assist biodiversity in your backyard or balcony:

  • Create spaces for local native species by providing a mixed strata in your garden with sheltered hollows for insects
  • Provide drinking water in sheltered locations and ensure the water is regularly changed so that mosquitoes do not use this site to breed
  • Plant locally native shrubs and small trees
  • Leave pots, small logs and rocks around your yard to create habitat for lizards and other ground-dwelling species
  • Limit the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016

On 25 August 2017 the land management biodiversity conservation reforms commenced. This introduced significant changes to the way biodiversity is protected, how development activities are regulated and how the impacts of these activities on the natural environment are managed.

How Might This Affect You?

If you are applying for development consent under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, your development may have impacts on biodiversity through either vegetation clearing or prescribed impacts. If these impacts occur, the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme is triggered and an Accredited Assessor will need to submit a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR) before development is approved.

Information on the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme can be found on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

A summary of the triggers to the Biodiversity Offset Scheme are detailed below:

  1. The development is located or infringing on the Biodiversity Values Map.
  2. The development exceeds the following area clearing threshold.
  3. The impacts are considered significant under Section 7.3 of the Act.

BOS Area Clearing Thresholds

Minimum lot size of land Area of clearing
Less than 1 hectare 0.25 hectare or more
Less than 40 hectares but not less than 1 hectare 0.5 hectare or more

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