Australian Ethical has sold its shares in Lendlease Group over its planned development at Mt Gilead in south-western Sydney, which could threaten the survival of one of the last remaining healthy koala colonies in NSW.   

In December, Australian Ethical warned it would divest its shareholdings in Lendlease if it proceeded with Stage 2 of the development in its current form without providing critical information about planned koala corridors.  

Independent advice from the Office of the NSW chief scientist and engineer (OSCE) makes clear that Mt Gilead is critical to the survival of this important koala colony and that wildlife corridors need to provide koalas safe passage across the site. 

Australian Ethical lost faith after recent talks with Lendlease stalled and the NSW Department of Planning & Environment (DPE) failed to commit to a meaningful public consultation ahead of its statutory deadline for making a decision by July 2023. 

It is calling on the Minister for Environment & Heritage, James Griffin, to intervene. 

The NSW Government’s environmental protection body, the Environment and Heritage Group (EHG), wrote to the DPE in December stating that the Lendlease proposal was inconsistent with recommendations in the OSCE advice and subsequent expert reports. 

EHG told the DPE that “EHG does not support the exhibited planning proposal, including the structure plan or the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Strategy,” essentially due to a lack of information on the proposal, which mirrors the concerns Australian Ethical raised with DPE late last year.