Conservation Reforms Support
The NSW Biodiversity Conservation reforms commenced on 25 August 2017 which introduced a new approach to land management and biodiversity conservation in NSW. These changes introduced a Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS) for people who wish to clear native vegetation on their land.
The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act), the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) and State Environmental Planning Policy – Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas (Vegetation SEPP) were introduced via as a staged process with a number of transitional arrangements.
APPLICABLE TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE bc aCT
Transitional arrangements have now ceased for local developments under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) within all Councils in the Hunter Region.
For any new local developments (including modifications) lodged from the 25 November 2018, consideration of the Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS) triggers and biodiversity assessment requirements under the BC Act will be required in all 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) within the Hunter Region.
ROUTINE AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES (ramaS) ON VEGETATION SEPP LAND
There is one remaining transitional arrangement active within the Hunter Region under the Vegetation SEPP. The special transitional provisions under Cl27 of the Vegetation SEPP were extended for 1 year until 25 August 2019.
These transitional provisions allow for clearing for routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) as defined under the former Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NV Act) in R5, E2, E3 and E4 zones where the predominant use of the land is for agriculture.
The extension of these arrangements only applies in six Councils within the Hunter Region that had not adopted Clause 5.9(9) of the Standard Instrument (LEP). This includes:
- Maitland City Council
- Mid Coast Council
Note: applies only within the former LGA boundaries of Greater Taree and Gloucester. Does NOT apply to the former LGA boundary of Great Lakes.
- Muswellbrook Shire Council
- Port Stephens Council
- Singleton Council
- Upper Hunter Shire Council
OEH Local Government Capacity Building Program
Local government is a key partner in the conservation and management of biodiversity and threatened species in NSW. As part of Office of Environment and Heritage’s (OEH) Local Government Capacity Building Program a Local Government Regional Support Officer was employed in Region from December 2017 to support and build the capacity of local councils in transitioning and implementing the NSW Government Biodiversity Conservation Reforms. This position is one of eight in the State and is located within the Hunter Joint Organisation (HJO) Environment Division.
Local Government Hunter Regional Support Officer – Biodiversity Conservation Reforms
The HJO Environment Division have been working with Councils to deliver a work program targeted to identified specific needs to assist each Council transition and understand their new legislative requirements and obligations under the new Biodiversity reforms.
The Environment Division support role continue to actively:
- provide a conduit between Councils and key state agencies – OEH, Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and Local Land Services (LLS)
- Respond to local assistance requests; and
- Facilitate training and capacity building opportunities.
Resources and access to information relating to implementation of the biodiversity conservation reforms in the Local Government context is located on our Biodiversity Conservation Reforms Implementation page.
Regional Support for Hunter Region Councils
If you have any questions relating to the Biodiversity Reforms, please contact our office.
Contact details are:
Phone: 4978 4020