Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology
One of the key objectives of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 is to end broadscale clearing except where the clearing will improve or maintain environmental outcomes. The Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 sets out an Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology (EOAM) (110157eoam.pdf, 1.83MB) that the Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) must use to assess whether clearing proposals for Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs) and Development Consents meet this criteria.
The EOAM is applied using objective, computer-based decision support software known as the Native Vegetation Assessment Tools (NVAT). This software weighs up the positive and negative benefits of different management actions, helping assessment officers to make practical decisions based on the best scientific information available. The methodology and software has evolved as a result of extensive field trials, public submissions and review by panels of independent scientists, farming and environmental interests.
Review of the EOAM
The EOAM is being reviewed as part of a broader review of the native vegetation regulations. For more information or to register your interest in the review please visit the native vegetation regulations review page.
Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology databases
Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology chapter section "2.4.1 Databases containing environmental information" identifies key databases to be considered in the Native Vegetation Assessment Tools (NVAT).
Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 specify the circumstances in which broadscale clearing is to be regarded as improving or maintaining environmental outcomes for water quality, salinity, biodiversity, soils and invasive native scrub respectively.
To apply these circumstances accurately and meaningfully to the enormous range of possible clearing and offset proposals in the diverse environments that exist throughout the State it is necessary to rely on detailed data about the state of the environment in NSW. The information is held in the following databases:
Clause 27 of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 permits minor changes to the assessment methodology. Changes can only be made by an accredited expert who must make the case for the clearing proposal in accordance with the Minister's protocols.
The Minister has approved two assessment protocols that have been developed under clause 27(3)(b) and clause 27(3A)(b) of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 for where a minor variation is made to the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology:
An accredited expert can use these two protocols to make an assessment that the proposed clearing will improve or maintain environmental outcomes and will have additional conservation benefits on a landscape scale.
Page last updated: 30 September 2011