Register of biodiversity certification orders

The Department of Planning and Environment maintains a register of orders conferring biodiversity certification as required by section 9.7(f) of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and section 126ZU of the repealed Threatened Species Conservation Act.

Orders made under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016

Gazetted

The Minister for Environment and Heritage made an order (PDF 3.2MB) conferring strategic biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 for the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan. The biodiversity certification order for the plan was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 17 August 2022. The Minister for Environment declared the plan to be strategic on 16 January 2019.

The plan is the first strategic biodiversity certification in NSW, and one of the largest strategic conservation plans to be undertaken in Australia. The combined total of avoided land for biodiversity reasons is approximately 4,513 hectares. The plan also identifies approximately 27,200 hectares of strategic conservation areas on the Cumberland Plain, from which future offsets will be sourced.

The biodiversity certified area applies to 11,164 hectares of land, including 1,758 hectares of native vegetation, in four nominated areas:

  • Greater Macarthur
  • Greater Penrith to Eastern Creek
  • Western Sydney Aerotropolis
  • Wilton

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development on certified land, the approved conservation measures under section 8.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and clause 8.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 includes a conservation program that:

  • consists of 26 commitments and 131 actions that must be implemented over the 35 years of the plan’s life
  • includes a private land conservation network, to be secured under Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements, and public land to be secured under National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) management
  • proposes to establish 11,000 hectares of land as biodiversity offsets, including 5,325 hectares of targeted threatened native vegetation
  • secures offsets for threatened species and threatened ecological communities, including 2,885 ha of critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland
  • establishes the 1,830 hectare Georges River Koala Reserve
  • secures a minimum of 570 hectares of koala habitat, and commits to implementing the principles of the NSW Officer of Chief Scientist & Engineer’s review in relation to koalas
  • implements a strategic conservation planning package, including a specific chapter in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity & Conservation) 2021, Section 9.1 Ministerial Direction and associated guidance
  • builds knowledge and capacity across Western Sydney’s community and stakeholders through engagement, research, and capacity building
  • manages landscape scale threats such as bushfire, pests, weed, disease and climate change
  • includes annual monitoring of impacts and offsets, and a five-yearly independent review.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application. Further information on the plan can be found on the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan page. The assessment was reviewed by the Department of Planning and Environment, as documented in the recommendation report (PDF 13.1MB).

The Department of Planning and Environment, Dean Knudson, Deputy Secretary, Biodiversity, Conservation and Science, as delegate for the Minister for Environment and Heritage, made an order conferring biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 over land on Googong Neighbourhoods 3-5. The biodiversity certification order for Googong Neighbourhoods 3-5 was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 15 July 2022.

The proposed development forms part of the larger Googong town centre and includes the final stages 3-5 (being Lots 10 DP 754881, Part of Lot 11 DP 754881, Lot 42 DP 754881, Lot 996 DP 1276892, Lot 1605 DP 1266000, Lot 2 DP 1231713, Lot 13 DP 1266001, Lot 12 DP 1266001, Lot 7 DP 1246784, & Lot 3 DP 1149329) in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Local Government Area. The biodiversity certification assessment applies to 261.46 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for 164.34 hectares of certified land.

The combined total of avoided land for biodiversity reasons is approximately 84.32 hectares.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development of the 164.34 hectares of biodiversity certified land, the certification will involve the retirement of 1084 biodiversity credits (being 1036 ecosystem credits and 48 species credits).

A biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for Environment and Heritage and the applicant is also in place to protect 56.73 hectares of avoided land, to be managed as follows:

  • 40.39 hectares of land within the C2 Zoned land will be managed under a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP)
  • the establishment of a reserve, 'Yellow-box Reserve', covering 10.96 hectares, to be established for its biodiversity values and managed via the VMP
  • avoiding direct impacts to 5.38 hectares within the proposed large lots that will also contain specific management actions to protect the values present.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application. The assessment was reviewed by the Department of Planning and Environment, as documented in the recommendation and decision reports.

The Department of Planning and Environment, Deputy Secretary, Biodiversity, Conservation and Science, as delegate for the Minister for Environment and Heritage made an order (PDF 984KB) conferring biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 over land on Woodbury Ridge Estate. The biodiversity certification order for Woodbury Ridge Estate was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 8 April 2022.

The proposed development at Woodbury Ridge Estate (being Lot 1 DP1272209) is in the Yass Valley Local Government Area. The biodiversity certification assessment applies to 188 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for 54.49 hectares.

The combined total of avoided land for biodiversity reasons is approximately 130 hectares.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development of the 54.49 hectares of biodiversity certified land, the certification will involve the retirement of 653 biodiversity credits (being 135 ecosystem credits and 518 species credits).

The other approved measures under section 8.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and clause 8.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 are:

  • the preparation and registration of a Community Management Statement and by-laws applicable to the certified land, including provisions for the retention of overstorey vegetation that is specified as 'ground storey impact only areas’ within the certified land
  • preparation and registration of section 88E instrument(s) under the Conveyancing Act 1919 applicable to the certified land. A section 88E is a public positive covenant which imposes obligations on the new owners of the land.

The commitment to deliver these conservation measures is secured by a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for Environment and Heritage and the applicant.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report (PDF 28.1MB) was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application. The assessment was reviewed by the Department of Planning and Environment, as documented in the recommendation (PDF 2.8MB) and decision (PDF 51KB) reports.


Orders made under the repealed Threatened Species Conservation Act

Gazetted

The Environment, Energy and Science Group Executive Director, Michelle Dumazel, as delegate for the Minister for Energy and Environment made an order (PDF 320KB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the Jacaranda site. The biodiversity certification order for Jacaranda was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 20 August 2021. Note: In accordance with clause 37 of the Biodiversity Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Regulation 2017, the biodiversity certification on the land is taken to be biodiversity certification conferred on the land under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

The Jacaranda site is in the area of Glossodia in the Hawkesbury City local government area. The biodiversity certification assessment applies to 185.03 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for 143.72 hectares of that land.  

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development of the 143.72 hectares of biodiversity certified land, the biodiversity certification strategy includes the retirement of 'like for like' biodiversity credits from two existing biobanking agreements (IDs 331 and 383). In addition, high conservation value lands on the Jacaranda site have been protected through the signing of two biodiversity stewardship site agreements (Glossodia East (ID BA495) and Glossodia West (ID BA496)) and all biodiversity credits generated from the sites will be retired. The commitment to deliver these conservation measures is secured by a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for Energy and Environment, owners, developer and Hawkesbury City Council.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 12.6MB) was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the Application (PDF 4.5MB). The assessment was reviewed by the Environment, Energy and Science Group, as documented in the Recommendation and Decision Reports (PDF 3.8MB).

The Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 12.6MB) appendices provided as separate documents can be viewed at:

The Office of Environment and Heritage Chief Executive, Anthony Lean, as delegate for the Minister for Energy and Environment made an order (PDF 2.4MB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the Mount Gilead Stage 1 site. The biodiversity certification order for Mount Gilead Stage 1 was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 5 July 2019. Note: In accordance with clause 37 of the Biodiversity Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Regulation 2017, the biodiversity certification on the land is taken to be biodiversity certification conferred on the land under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

The Mount Gilead Stage 1 site is located in Gilead in the Campbelltown local government area. The biodiversity certification assessment applies to 208.89 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for 165.55 hectares of that land. 

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development of the 165.55 hectares of biodiversity certified land, the biodiversity certification strategy includes the retirement of biodiversity credits from existing biobanking agreements (IDs 208, 209 and 239). In addition, a biobanking agreement over the on-site conservation area will be entered into and all biodiversity credits generated from that site will be retired. The commitment to deliver these conservation measures is secured by a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for Energy and Environment, owners, developer and Campbelltown City Council.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 13.5MB) and Addendum (PDF 3.9MB) were prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application (PDF 5.3MB). The assessment was reviewed by the former Office of Environment and Heritage, as documented in the Recommendation and decision reports (PDF 24.6MB).

The Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy appendices provided as separate documents can be viewed at:


The Office of Environment and Heritage Chief Executive, Anthony Lean, as delegate for the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, made an order (PDF 1.7MB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the Port Macquarie Airport and surrounding lands. The biodiversity certification order for the Port Macquarie Airport and surrounding lands was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 7 September 2018.

Note: In accordance with clause 37 of the Biodiversity Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Regulation 2017, the biodiversity certification is taken to be biodiversity certification on the specified land under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

The Port Macquarie Airport and surrounding lands is located in the Port Macquarie Hastings Council local government area. The biodiversity certification applies to 320.48 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for that land.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity within the biodiversity certified land, 444.17 hectares of native vegetation and threatened species habitats on site will be secured via a biobanking agreement. As the development will impact koala habitat and a vegetation community, an additional 40 to 50 hectares of native vegetation and threatened species habitats will be secured as an offsite offset to the satisfaction of OEH, as described in the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Strategy (PDF 21MB).

These offset areas will be protected and managed for conservation in perpetuity

The commitment to deliver the conservation measures is secured by a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for the Environment and Port Macquarie Hastings Council.

The Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Strategy was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application (PDF 925KB). The assessment was reviewed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, as documented in the Recommendation and Decision Reports (PDF 4.4MB).

The Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Anthony Lean, made an order (PDF 1.8MB) conferring biodiversity certification under Section 126H of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the western precinct of Redgum Ridge Estate. The biodiversity certification order for the Redgum Ridge Estate Western Precinct was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 7 September 2018. Note: In accordance with clause 37 of the Biodiversity Conservation (Savings and Transitional) Regulation 2017, the biodiversity certification is taken to be biodiversity certification on the specified land under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

The Redgum Ridge Estate Western Precinct is located in the suburb of Figtree, situated in the Wollongong local government area. The biodiversity certification assessment applies to 60.24 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for 8.11 hectares of that land.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity associated with the development of the 8.11 hectares of biodiversity certified land, the biodiversity certification strategy includes the purchase and retirement of “like for like” biodiversity credits from an existing Biobanking Agreement (BA221) located within the biodiversity certification assessment area. This biobanking agreement includes a total of 46.82 hectares of native vegetation, including two threatened ecological communities and numerous individuals of a threatened flora species. The biodiversity certification of the Redgum Ridge Estate Western Precinct will deliver positive outcomes for both the environment and the landowner where development is restricted to highly degraded areas of vegetation, and high quality environmental areas are protected and managed in perpetuity under a Biobanking Agreement.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 17MB) was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application (PDF 866KB). The assessment was reviewed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, as documented in the Recommendation Report (PDF 15.6MB).

The Office of Environment and Heritage Chief Executive, Anthony Lean, as delegate for the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, made an order (PDF 2.1MB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the El Caballo Blanco, Gledswood and Camden Lakeside residential estate. The biodiversity certification order for the El Caballo Blanco, Gledswood and Camden Lakeside residential estate was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 1 June 2018.

The El Caballo Blanco, Gledswood and Camden Lakeside residential estate is located in Gledswood Hills in the Camden local government area. The biodiversity certification applies to 47.45 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for that land.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity within the biodiversity certified land, the biodiversity certification strategy includes two off-site conservation measures: the retirement of 296 ecosystem credits and the retirement of 18 species credits. The commitment to deliver the conservation measures is secured by a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for the Environment and the land owners.

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 11.3MB) was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application (PDF 1.8MB). The assessment was reviewed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, as documented in the Recommendation Report (PDF 12MB).

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Mark Speakman MP, made an order (PDF 739KB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 over land in the Emerald Hills Estate. The biodiversity certification order for the Emerald Hills Estate was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 4 December 2015.

The Emerald Hills Estate is located in Leppington in the Camden local government area. The biodiversity certification applies to 122.49 hectares of land and streamlines the development assessment process for that land.

To offset the impacts on biodiversity within the biodiversity certified land, the biodiversity certification strategy includes an on-site and off-site conservation measure. The on-site conservation measure is the entering into of a biobanking agreement protecting 20.13 hectares that was implemented at the time of conferral. The off-site conservation measure is the entering into of a second biobanking agreement and retirement of biodiversity credits. The commitment to deliver the off-site biobanking agreement is secured via a biodiversity certification agreement between the Minister for the Environment, owners and developer. 

A Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report and Biocertification Strategy (PDF 5.22MB) was prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology and lodged with the application (PDF 3.53MB). The assessment was reviewed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, as documented in the Recommendation Report (PDF 5.46MB).

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Mark Speakman MP, made an order (PDF 1.1MB) conferring biodiversity certification under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 on land subject to the Brimbin Planning Proposal. Brimbin is a new township to be built near Taree on the NSW mid north coast. The biodiversity certification order for Brimbin was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 16 October 2015.

Covering 3715 hectares, Brimbin is located on Lansdowne Road eight kilometres north-east of the existing Taree township. The biodiversity certification applies to 1666 hectares of land at Brimbin and streamlines the development assessment process for that land.

The planning proposal for the town of Brimbin is on predominantly cleared lands and includes offsets to compensate for future impacts on biodiversity that were assessed as part of the biodiversity certification. These offsets include the rezoning of approximately 1190 hectares of high conservation value land for environmental protection, of which 936 hectares is being added to the adjacent Brimbin Nature Reserve, and funding of $1.1 million for the management of this newly reserved land.

A biodiversity certification strategy (PDF 11.5MB) and a biodiversity certification assessment (PDF 8.8MB) of the proposal were prepared in accordance with the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology (BCAM) and lodged with the application (PDF 2.9MB). The assessment was reviewed by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), as documented in the Recommendation Report (PDF 4.2MB).

The Minister for the Environment, Robert Stokes, made an order conferring biodiversity certification over Broulee (PDF 870KB) on 19 September 2014. The Broulee Biodiversity Certification will enable the development of the remainder of Broulee village, the expansion of the Moruya Airport and further development of the Moruya Racecourse. The reasons leading to the Minister's decision can be found in the Recommendation Report (PDF 2MB).

To offset the clearing of native vegetation and biodiversity within the biodiversity certified land, developers will purchase and retire Biobank credits which have been created by Eurobodalla Shire Council. The money generated through the sale of Biobank Credits will be placed in the Biobank Trust Fund and the interest generated will be used to pay Council to manage the Biobank site and improve its biodiversity.

The application was put on public exhibition from 22 April – 5 June 2013 in accordance with statutory requirements. During this time 227 submissions were received. On the basis of these submissions Eurobodalla Shire Council resolved to amend the proposal and change the conservation measure from an unfunded conservation Property Vegetation Plan to a Biobank site which could be funded in perpetuity. These changes were then re-exhibited from 30 April – 30 May 2014 during this exhibition, only 12 submissions (only one objection) were received.

Original application and the subsequent re-exhibited addenda

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Robyn Parker, made an order conferring biodiversity certification over Warnervale Town Centre (PDF 684KB) on 30 January 2014. Warnervale Town Centre is expected to contribute 1650 dwellings and 1200 job opportunities to the Central Coast. This is the first biodiversity certification since the amendments to the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 in June 2010. The reasons leading to the Minister's decision can be found in the Recommendation Report (PDF 410KB).

Biodiversity certification is a planning process which strategically addresses biodiversity issues and enables better conservation outcomes, so the council will no longer need to undertake a threatened species assessment with future development applications for Warnervale Town Centre. Impacts on biodiversity are offset with conservation measures in the region. It balances the protection and management of conservation values with the efficient supply of land for urban development in New South Wales.

A Special Infrastructure Contribution of $4 million will be used to provide biodiversity offsets, through a process similar to the Sydney Growth Centre offset program. The Environmental Trust will provide funding to the Office of Environment and Heritage to purchase conservation measures (BioBanking agreements, land purchase and management, etc.).

The application was put on public exhibition from 22 January 2013 until 25 February 2013 in accordance with statutory requirements. Seven submissions were received and have led to changes to the original proposal.

Original application

Before February 2011, biodiversity certification was conferred on environmental planning instruments (EPIs) under Schedule 7 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act). The following EPIs had biodiversity certification conferred under these arrangements.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006, also known as the Growth Centres SEPP, established the broad framework for development of the Growth Centres over the next 25 to 30 years. The Growth Centres SEPP was gazetted in July 2006 and is effective until 30 June 2025.

In December 2007 an order (PDF 581KB) conferring biodiversity certification on the Growth Centres SEPP was made by the Minister for the Environment under section 126G of the TSC Act.

In July 2008, the Minister's certification was validated by the Threatened Species Conservation Amendment (Special Provisions) Act 2008.The amendment is now incorporated into Part 7 of Schedule 7 of the TSC Act. The amendment essentially validates the certification and gives the Minister the power to suspend or revoke the certification if any of its conditions, now termed relevant biodiversity measures, are not complied with.

The land that is subject to biodiversity certification is described in Schedule 7, Part 7 Biocertification of Sydney Region Growth Centres SEPP and related EPIs in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

The relevant biodiversity measures applying to the certification have remained unaltered since gazettal of the original order. In summary, the measures relate to:

  • the permanent protection of 2000 hectares of high quality vegetation within the Growth Centres
  • the establishment by the NSW Government of a $530 million conservation fund to protect areas of biodiversity value. This funding will be derived over the next 25 to 30 years from a special infrastructure contribution that applies within the Growth Centres as well as from general government revenue.

Three quarters of the conservation fund ($397.5 million) is used to implement the Growth Centres Biodiversity Offset Program.

Information on the development of the biodiversity certification of the Growth Centres SEPP is available in the Growth Centres Conservation Plan and the assessment of the proposal to confer biodiversity certification (PDF 286KB).

The then Minister for Climate Change and the Environment made an order conferring biodiversity certification on the Albury Local Environmental Plan 2010 effective from the gazettal date of 25 February 2011 and expiring on 24 February 2021.

The original order was amended by the Biodiversity Certification of Environmental Planning Instruments Order 2017 (PDF 5.0MB), applying the certification to Business, Industrial and Residential Zones of the Albury Local Environmental Plan 2010 only.

The Department granted an extension to biodiversity certification for a period of up to 5 years pursuant to the order (PDF 39KB) published in the government gazette on 19 Friday 2021.

Expired

The then Minister for Climate Change and the Environment made an order conferring biodiversity certification on the Wagga Wagga Local Environmental Plan 2010 effective from the gazettal date of 24 December 2010 until 23 December 2020. This certification has now expired.

The certification covers approximately 10,655 ha of the Wagga Wagga local government area that represents the current and future urban and industrial area around Wagga Wagga city. Details are available in the Proposed Biodiversity Certification for the draft Wagga Wagga Local Environmental Plan 2009 (PDF 1.43MB).