Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Interim Grasslands and other Groundcover Assessment Method

Under the new legislation, a new method is available for determining the conservation value of grasslands and other groundcover.

The Interim Grasslands and other Groundcover Assessment Method (IGGAM) was prepared by Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) in accordance with Part 5A of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) and the amended Local Land Services Regulation 2014 (LLS Regulation). The amendments to the LLS Act and Regulation commenced on 25 August 2017. Although under the new regulatory framework landholders have similar rights to clear grasslands and other groundcover as they had under the former regulatory framework, there are changes.

Mapping of conservation value

The new regulatory regime provides, firstly, for the mapping of land containing grasslands or other groundcover based on the clearing status of the land. The IGGAM may then be used to map the land according to the conservation value of the grasslands or other groundcover. The LLS Act and Regulation provide for:

  • ‘low conservation value’ grasslands and other groundcover to be mapped as category 1 exempt land (unless they are beneath the canopy or drip line of category 2 regulated land woody vegetation – in which case they are category 2 regulated land)
  • land containing grasslands or other groundcover that are not low conservation value to be mapped as category 2 regulated land
  • ‘high conservation value’ grasslands or other groundcover to be mapped as category 2 sensitive regulated land. Associated-use restrictions are described in the land management codes and allowable activities.

Assessment using Interim Grasslands and other Groundcover Assessment Method

With the commencement of Part 5A of the LLS Act and the amended LLS Regulation, the conservation value of grasslands and other groundcover is determined by applying the IGGAM. Assessments made using IGGAM may be used by landholders as the basis for a Landholder Initiated Map Review application (docx 150KB) if they believe the category of their land on the native vegetation regulatory map is incorrect.

The LLS Regulation and the IGGAM also allow for OEH to designate mapped areas of high conservation value grasslands and other groundcover in certain circumstances.

The IGGAM uses a three-stage process through which qualified assessors will determine the conservation value of groundcover vegetation.

  • Stage 1 specifies situations where it may not be appropriate to use the IGGAM.
  • Stage 2 is a simple assessment of the cover of exotic perennial species.
  • Stage 3 is a more in-depth survey of the floristic composition of the site, called Vegetation Integrity.

Interim Grasslands and other Groundcover Assessment Method calculator

Field data from the three stages is entered into the IGGAM Calculator and a certificate detailing the conservation value of each assessed area of vegetation is issued. This certificate can be provided as documentation of the conservation value.

The IGGAM Calculator is accessed as part of the Map Review application by qualified assessors. A trial version is available for public use; however, this does not allow a certificate to be generated.

More information about the IGGAM is available by contacting the Map Review team on 02 6363 8700 or map.review@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 05 February 2018