Key features of the new legislation
The Local Land Services Act 2013, as amended by the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 (LLSA Act), provides a new regulatory framework for the management of native vegetation
A Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map will be developed and identify rural land that is regulated under the new land management framework
The Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code will support landholders to manage their land to ensure more productive farming methods and systems, while responding to environmental risks
Some clearing under the Land Management Code will require land to be set aside, which will be listed in a new public register
Clearing of native vegetation may be carried out without approval for the purposes of allowable activities
Higher impact clearing will require approval from a new Native Vegetation Panel, and landholders will be required to assess and offset the biodiversity impacts of approved clearing
A new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will be developed to regulate clearing of native vegetation in urban and other specified areas that does not require development consent
A draft Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code is undergoing further development and refinement to ensure consistency with the key settings announced by Government in 2016 and to ensure it is robust and user-friendly.
The Land Management Code supports landholders to manage their land and ensure more productive farming methods and systems while responding to environmental risks.
Native Vegetation Regulatory Map
The LLSA Act enables the preparation of the NVR Map that will underpin the new land management framework. The NVR Map shows rural land where clearing of native vegetation can occur without approval and rural land where clearing requires approval.
Government will be consulting with stakeholders over the coming months to further develop and test drafts of the NVR Map.
OEH will publish a draft NVR Map and the landholder review provisions will commence. This will provide an opportunity for landholders to seek a review of their property prior to the final NVR Map coming into effect in the first half of 2018. Landholders may seek a review if they consider their land has been incorrectly categorised. During this transitional period OEH will not charge a fee for map reviews.
Government is currently developing the Grasslands and other Groundcover Assessment Method to determine how these areas will be reflected in the NVR Map. The method will be peer reviewed and targeted consultation undertaken before it takes effect.
Biodiversity-certification and strategic land-use mapping pilots
In partnership with local landholders, LLS will pilot development of strategic biodiversity-certification applications in two rural areas. This will provide an opportunity to investigate the practicality of biodiversity-certification as an option in a regional/agricultural context.
Land management in urban areas
The reform package includes a new State Environmental Planning Policy Vegetation 2017 (Vegetation SEPP) that will apply to land in Sydney, urban zones across NSW, and all environmental conservation and management zones.
The Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for the Vegetation SEPP explains how the proposed SEPP will regulate the clearing of native vegetation in urban and environmental zoned areas where the clearing does not otherwise require development consent under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.