Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Medium security conservation-oriented mechanisms

The following table shows medium security (mechanism is described in legislation and confers specific management, but does not require parliamentary action for removal), nature conservation-oriented, land management strategies available in NSW.

MechanismGoverning legislationPurpose as defined in legislationConservation effectiveness. Is nature conservation the primary purpose of the mechanism?Security of mechanism. How easily can protection offered by the measure be circumvented or varied?Planned management. Does legislation require that the protection measure be managed under a plan of management?IUCN protected are category if applicable
Conservation Agreement National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

(NPW Act)

69C(1) a-f: Conservation Agreements (CAs) are entered into on private lands in relation to areas that contain: scenery, natural environments, natural phenomena worthy of preservation; special scientific interest; sites of buildings, objects, monuments or events of national significance; relics or Aboriginal places (where they are situated); value for study, preservation, protection and care of flora, fauna and karst regions. Case by case. An agreement may be varied by a subsequent agreement between the Minister and the owner of the conservation area A Plan of Management may be prepared. Case by case.
Conservation Agreement in Wilderness area (applies to private land) Wilderness Act 1987 A CA can be entered into in relation to land identified as Wilderness under the Wilderness Act 1987, and also to freehold or Crown Lease (not managed by statutory authority) land. A CA under such circumstances cannot contain terms inconsistent with the management principles for Wilderness areas as identified in the Wilderness Act. Yes Can be varied or revoked in accordance with the revocation statutes of S 8(4) of the Wilderness Act or S 69D of the NPW Act. A Plan of Management may be prepared and needs to be consistent with the requirements of wilderness protection defined in the Wilderness Act. I
Wilderness Protection Agreement (applies to land of the Crown) Wilderness Act 1987 Purpose is for conservation and restriction of use and access (s.S.12 (1) a-i. Relates to land that is: 1) owned by the Crown or land owned or controlled by a statutory authority; and that is 2) identified as Wilderness (i.e. not yet declared as Wilderness) (s. 10(1)). Yes If the Wilderness declaration is revoked, the WPA is revoked; it can be varied by the parties to the agreement. Not a requirement but can be done. They are not necessary if the NPWS has already caused a plan of management to be prepared for the wilderness area. They cannot be inconsistent with the management of wilderness (S.17). Ib
Wildlife Refuge NPW Act 1974 68(2): Wildlife Refuges (WRs) are dedicated for the purposes of: preserving, conserving, propagating and studying wildlife; conserving and studying natural environments; and creating simulated natural environments. Yes S.68 3 (b) May be revoked at any time by request in writing. A management plan may be prepared under S (78). May or may not meet criteria. Could meet categories IV-VI
State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), SEPP 14 Coastal Wetlands Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) (s. 37-39) SEPPs address issues of state-wide significance, when state-wide application of policy is necessary. A SEPP is made for any matter which, in the opinion of the DG or Minister for Planning, is of significance for environmental planning for the State. A SEPP provides that development consent from the local council be necessary for specified activities. It also provides for exceptions.


Preservation and protection of coastal wetlands in the environmental and economic interests of the state.

Yes Exceptions to activities allowed on SEPP 14 wetlands require consent from the council and DG Planning and is required to account for representations of DG NPWS. Not required
State Environ-mental Planning Policy (SEPP), SEPP 19 Urban Bushland EPA Act 1979 Preservation of bushland within the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Sydney Region, Gosford and Port Macquarie, because of: its value to the community as part of the natural heritage; its aesthetic value; its value as a recreational, educational and scientific resource. Yes Consent from council is needed for the disturbance of any part of bushland within land zoned or reserved for public open space (with 3 exceptions). Utilities not requiring development consent still require environmental assessment under EPA Act.
State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), SEPP 26 Littoral Rainforest EPA Act 1979 The Policy provides that listed developments shall not be carried out on the littoral rainforest core or the buffer zone, without consent. Yes Forbidden developments require consent of the local council and the concurrence of the DG of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources or, in the case of a development by a Crown authority, the Minister for Planning.
Property Agreements Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997 (NVC Act) A Property Agreement (PA) may: identify land or vegetation to be set aside for conservation or rehabilitation purposes; outline methods, practices and outcomes for vegetation management; provide financial and technical assistance to the landholder with respect to vegetation management; and other matters.
(s.41, 42)
Conservation and management of native vegetation. A PA remains in force for a period specified in the agreement. A PA may be varied by a subsequent agreement between the parties to the agreement. Also, a PA may be terminated at any time with the consent of the parties to the agreement. A PA is a plan of management. It makes provisions for conservation and management of the specified land. Case by case. Depends on intention and time period specified.
Page last updated: 18 April 2016