Conservation is not just something that occurs in national parks. Most land in NSW is in the hands of private individuals and, until recently, private land with high biodiversity value often had little monetary value in its natural state, yet rates and other costs still had to be met.
Changes to the biodiversity laws within New South Wales came into effect on the 25th August 2017, including the release of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. This Act is an integral part of the NSW Government’s biodiversity framework, together with the land management framework under the Local Land Services Act 2013 (as amended by the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016).
The complete list of new frameworks are below:
- Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
- Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017
- Biodiversity Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Regulation 2017
- Local Land Services Act 2013
- Local Land Services Regulation 2014
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017
In making the new biodiversity laws, a number of pieces of legislation were repealed, including the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Native Vegetation Act 2003, Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 and Parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Under the new scheme, if your land is within the thresholds listed in the Biodiversity Assessment Method (2017) then, an accredited assessor must apply the rules of the Biodiversity Assessment Method and document the results in a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR). If the land does not meet the criteria required for a BDAR then, an Impact Assessment can be carried out under local council development controls (including Development Control Plans and Local Environment Plans).
Our principal ecologist, Elizabeth Ashby is an accredited assessor under the new Biodiversity scheme and can provide professional assessments in line with the current legislative requirements, including assessments required using the Biodiversity Assessment Method (2017) or under local council provisions.