Invasive native species: Amendments to the Native Vegetation Regulation

Invasive native scrub

In November 2006, the NSW Government amended the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 to improve the assessment processes and definitions that relate to invasive native species (INS). All new Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs) and variations to existing PVPs are now assessed under these revised provisions.

Unless INS is regrowth, or it can be cleared via a routine agricultural management activity (RAMA), farmers are required to obtain a PVP to treat INS on their property.

The amendments resulted from a review of the INS tool by a working group chaired by the independent scientist Dr Denis Saunders. The review considered the concerns of farmers and catchment management authorities (CMAs) that the original assessment processes were too prescriptive and prevented effective management of INS.

The amended Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology for the INS tool:

  • includes additional INS species
  • removes the need for involvement of an accredited expert
  • allows CMAs to vary Stem Diameter Thresholds by +/- 5 cm
  • provides greater flexibility for the retention of small INS plants
  • permits the use of lucerne to stabilise soils
  • provides for increased cropping rotations - up to three times in 15 years
  • allows some flexibility to treat INS in Threatened Ecological Communities.

The working group also recommended providing incentive funding for treating INS, and training and communication about INS management.

These changes mean that:

  • farmers can choose to retain vegetation in clumps rather than spread across the paddock
  • farmers can obtain incentives from CMAs to treat INS
  • the improved system prevents soil erosion and land degradation, as INS PVPs must still meet the 'improve or maintain' environmental outcomes test.

For information on current INS PVPs see the public register, and for more information on managing INS, see Info Sheet 9 (nvinfosheet9.pdf, 387KB, Note: The Info Sheet is being updated following commencement of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 on 15 September 2013. Check with your local catchment management authority for the latest information on approval requirements).

The practical benefits of the data reviews include:

  • improved accuracy of biodiversity and threatened species assessment in the NVAT
  • access to the latest scientific information on vegetation types, benchmarks and threatened species used in PVP assessments for farmers and the public
  • a review of the 14 priority threatened species that were causing high offsets requirements and 'red lights' for some PVPs
  • immediate availability of the new data for negotiations between farmers and CMAs.
Page last updated: 19 September 2013