Seed collection at Western Sydney Airport restoring vegetation

An iconic Australian grass species is now thriving across NSW’s Cumberland Plain following the Coalition Government’s investment in environmental protection at the Western Sydney Airport site.

The environmental program – carried out by Greening Australia – was given a $10 million boost from the Coalition that has enabled scientists to harvest seeds from species for planting on other sites.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the environmental protection allowed scientists to carefully transplant the seeds, spreading them to new habitats across Sydney to rebuild stocks.

“Grassland species are a very important part of Western Sydney’s Cumberland Plain vegetation. By collecting and harvesting native grass seeds, Greening Australia aims to future proof seed supply to support conservation replanting programs,” Mr Tudge said.

The replanting programs will include communities and species from the Western Sydney Airport site including Cumberland Plain Woodland and Pimelea spicata (Spiked Rice-flower),as well as Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass).

The proactive approach by the Coalition Government and Greening Australia means native plants, including Kangaroo Grass, will flourish in the Cumberland Plain once again, in areas like the Western Sydney Parklands

The replanting of Kangaroo Grass from the Western Sydney Airport site had been so successful that scientists were now able to harvest seed from these new sites.

The $10 million funding is a condition of the Western Sydney Airport Plan.

Mr Tudge said it was in addition to the Coalition’s investment of $200 million to protect biodiversity as part of the development of Western Sydney Airport.

“This is the largest offset program currently underway in Australia and we are committed to protecting biodiversity as we work to deliver this once-in-a-generation project that will transform Western Sydney’s economy,” he said.

Greening Australia Senior Ecologist Samantha Craigie said she was pleased to be working with the Australian Government and Western Sydney Airport to protect this very important ecological resource.

“Thanks to Australian Government funding, we’ve been working with government, universities, community groups and corporations to develop new techniques to enable the restoration of native vegetation,” she said.

“This long-term investment in research and its practical application has laid the ground work for significant future advances in the environment sector’s capacity to address national biodiversity loss – this is a pivotal point for restoration and conservation in Australia.”