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What’s new in native vegetation?

The NSW Land Management and Biodiversity Conservation Reforms are a new approach to land management developed to achieve three core objectives:

  • to enable ongoing agricultural land management
  • to facilitate ecological sustainable development
  • to enhance biodiversity conservation.

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Overview

The new Land Management Framework implements the independent Panel’s recommendations following its review of biodiversity conservation legislation in NSW. The new Land Management Framework replaces the:

  • Native Vegetation Act 2003
  • Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
  • Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001
  • parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

with

Local Land Services Act 2013

The amended Local Land Services Act 2013, provides a new regulatory framework for native vegetation and land management activities in NSW. The amended Act:

  • categorises regulated and exempt land to provide certainty and clarity for landholders
  • creates Allowable Activities which simplify and expand the former routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs)
  • creates the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code
  • establishes a Native Vegetation Panel
  • enables landholders to use the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme for agricultural development.

Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2017

The Code provides landholders with more options to better manage native vegetation on their property, improving agricultural productivity and biodiversity outcomes across NSW.

Biodiversity Offsets

If a landholder wishes to use Biodiversity Offsets, they will need to engage an accredited assessor to assess the biodiversity values and proposed impacts at the development site and calculate the offset obligations of the landholder using the Biodiversity Assessment Method and to prepare a Biodiversity Assessment Report.

For information on the Offset Scheme and to find accredited assessors, landholders should contact the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016

The new Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 provides landholders with greater flexibility to manage the environmental impacts of agricultural development. The new Act:

  • establishes a Biodiversity Conservation Trust to manage a new Biodiversity Conservation Fund providing landholders and others with the option to pay for biodiversity credits to offset the environmental impacts of development
  • creates Private Land Conservation Agreements to invest $240 million over five years to support conservation on private land.