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Biodiversity is the variety of plants and animals that exist in an area. Ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity are more resilient and healthy and are better able to recover from outside stresses such as drought, pests, wildfire and climate change.

Understanding biodiversity gives us the ability to more effectively address environmental challenges including:

  • controlling pests and supporting species that pollinate crops
  • maintaining groundwater tables
  • absorbing carbon
  • protecting water quality.

Local Land Services supports best practise and planning in order to maintain effective environmental services.

Information on species distribution

Data on plant and animal species in Australia, including mapping, data sets and species by location is available online from the Atlas of Living Australia.

Industry collaborators and resources

NSW Department of Primary Industries
We work closely with DPI to provide up to date technical advice and support.

NSW Office of Water
The NSW Office of Water in DPI is responsible for the management of the State's surface water and groundwater resources.

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
The Office of Environment and Heritage works to protect and conserve the environment, including the natural environment, Aboriginal country, culture and heritage and our built heritage, and manages NSW national parks and reserves.

Natural Resources Commission
The Natural Resources Commission provides the NSW Government with independent advice on managing natural resources.

Department of the Environment (Commonwealth)
The Department of the Environment is responsible for all federal matters pertaining to the environment.

This program delivers funding to improve native vegetation conservation and management of threatened species and invasive plants and animals.

Funding aims to maintain and improve high-conservation value native vegetation communities including native grasslands, woodlands and forests.

Funding is available to help landholders protect this priority native vegetation to:

  • fence and protect it from stock
  • plant local native species to connect patches, enhance the area or create buffers
  • control weeds and pest animals in remnant vegetation.
  • Priority funding will be offered to projects that target endangered ecological communities, threatened species habitat and regionally significant vegetation, over-cleared landscapes and vegetation types

    Managing native vegetation

    The Native Vegetation Act 2003 came into force in NSW on December 2005 and introduced a new approach to the management of native vegetation across NSW.

    Greater Sydney Local Land Services assists landowners in managing native vegetation on their properties.

    Local Land Services is responsible for implementing the Native Vegetation Act and its regulation, and for providing advice to landholders where provisions under the Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997 apply. Only certain local government areas within the Greater Sydney Local Land Services region are affected.

    The Native Vegetation Act is designed to prevent broadscale clearing unless the clearing improves or maintains environmental outcomes. It aims to protect native vegetation of high conservation value, protect water quality and biodiversity, and to prevent land degradation.

    In general, the impact of clearing approved under the Act must be offset by improving the condition of another area of native vegetation of the same or similar type. Offset areas linked to clearing approvals are registered on the title of the land and remain in place in perpetuity

    Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs) are the legal mechanism used by Local Land Services to approve clearing of native vegetation. The impacts of clearing on the environment are assessed using field data and with the assistance of a computer based assessment program – PVP Developer. PVPs may be entered into voluntarily and are generally negotiated, legally binding agreements between the landholder and Local Land Services. Not all types of clearing or clearing activities require approval under the Native Vegetation Act. The Native Vegetation Act provides some allowances for clearing associated with Routine Agricultural Management Activities (RAMAs). The zoning of land under the relevant Council Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and existing land use will affect the ability of landholders to use some of these exemptions.

    Some examples of permitted clearing activities (RAMAs) include clearing for boundary and internal fences, clearing around farm infrastructure such as stock yards, machinery sheds and dams, and clearing of vegetation that has regrown after the 1st January 1990 following a lawful clearing event.

    Feral native species listings

    Yellow Mimosa

    The Minister for the Environment has listed Vachellia farnesiana (Yellow Mimosa) as a feral native species for all of NSW under clause 17 of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005

    This allows land managers to clear the species as a routine agricultural management activity without requiring approval from the NSW Government. There are two simple conditions for soil protection relating to clearing near rivers and creeks and on steep slopes.