Transitional arrangements for revised Plant Community Types in eastern NSW coastal and tableland bioregions
The BAM-Calculator (BAM-C) was updated on 14 April 2023 to include the revised Plant Community Type (PCT) classification for the NSW coastal and tablelands bioregions.
For eligible assessments, transitional arrangements apply for up to 12 months for local Part 4 proposals and for up to 24 months for all other proposals, including major projects, biodiversity certification assessments and the assessment of biodiversity stewardship sites.
To meet requirements of the transitional arrangements, BAM-Calculator assessments must be finalised prior to 14 April 2024 for local Part 4 development and 14 April 2025 for all other proposals. The associated BAR must be lodged to the decision maker within 14 days of the date the BAM-C assessment is finalised. The BAR must include a finalised credit report and document the use of transitional arrangements and how the assessment is compliant.
BAM-C cases that were in progress prior to 14 April 2023 are eligible to apply transitional arrangements.
Proposals that start a BAM-Calculator assessment after 14 August must apply the revised PCTs and associated data to their assessments.
The transitional arrangements are established in the BAM-C and allow assessors with in-progress BAM-C assessments in the coastal and tablelands IBRA bioregions to maintain access to the previous version of the BAM-Calculator data and avoid changes to assessments. The transitional arrangements also allow assessors to opt in and apply the revised PCTs and new data to their assessment if preferred.
Webinars on the proposed transition were delivered in September 2021 and February 2023.
More detail is available in the:
- BOS Support Webinar 32
- the webinar's Question and answers document
- BAM-Calculator release notes: Deployment of Revised East Coast PCT Classification in the BAM-C.
The revised PCTs in eastern NSW were publicly released in BioNet on 24 June 2022, giving all stakeholders access to the new scientific information in BioNet applications.
The revised PCTs are expected to be easier to use in land use decisions and biodiversity assessments and provide greater confidence, certainty and transparency for the wide range of applications that use them in day-to-day business functions.
The revised PCT classification for eastern NSW is supported by analytical tools and maps, including the:
- Plot to PCT Assignment Tool
- BioNet Vegetation Classification Power Queries
- State Type Vegetation Map.
The revised PCTs were published as part of a broader program of work – the Integrated BioNet Vegetation Data for NSW (IBVD) – that will see all PCTs across New South Wales reviewed and mapped. For more information about the new data and Integrated BioNet Vegetation Data, visit the Integrated BioNet Vegetation Data for NSW webpage.
Resources and tools to support transition for users
Support tools have been provided to smooth the transition to the Scheme, including a PCT to Offset Trading Group (OTG) tool that shows the legacy PCTs and revised eastern NSW PCTs that are credit retirement options under the like-for-like offset rules. The tool will support landholders and developers to understand the application of the like-for-like offset rules in the context of both legacy and revised PCT biodiversity credits.
To discover which OTGs the revised PCTs belong to, you can visit the Plant Community Type to Offset Trading Group lookup tool.
The BioNet team have developed a quick guide on how to extract lineage transformation data from BioNet for users seeking to understand the changes to PCTs for assessments: Accessing plant community type lineage transformation data from BioNet – Quick guide
For further details on accessing PCT lineage transformation data, please see the BioNet resources page.
Frequently asked questions are available in the 'Find out more' section on this page to support participants navigating the transition.
Benchmarks update from Version 1.1 to Version 1.2 and transitional arrangements
Please note that the transitional arrangements for the Version 1.2 benchmarks update are separate from the transitional arrangements for changes to PCTs in eastern NSW (see below).
On 1 February 2023, the BAM-Calculator was updated to include Version 1.2 benchmarks.
The update to Version 1.2 benchmarks will be subject to transitional arrangements for 6 months. Transitional arrangements end on 2 August 2023. BAM-Calculator (BAM-C) assessments must be finalised prior to or on this date. The associated BAR must be submitted to the decision maker within 14 days with a finalised BAM credit report.
During the designated transitional period, assessors with assessments that were in progress prior to 1 February 2023 may opt to manually modify benchmarks and continue to apply (the previous) Version 1.1 benchmarks. Transitional arrangements do not apply to assessments commenced after 1 February 2023. New BAM assessments commenced in the BAM-C after 1 February 2023 must apply the new Version 1.2 benchmarks and cannot modify benchmarks unless in accordance with BAM Appendix A – use of more appropriate local data.
In summary, to be eligible to apply transitional arrangements to a BAM-C case, the case must:
- be commenced prior to 1 February 2023
- modify all benchmarks in the entire proposal to Version 1.1 benchmarks
- finalise the BAM-C assessment prior to 2 August 2023
- submit the certified Biodiversity Assessment Report (BAR) prior to 16 August 2023
- document the application of Version 1.1 benchmarks in the Biodiversity Assessment Report.
If assessors choose to apply Version 1.1 benchmarks under the transitional arrangements, the Biodiversity Assessment Report must clearly document how Version 1.1 benchmarks have been applied to the assessment and include evidence that the application is consistent with the transitional arrangements. The Biodiversity Assessment Report must include the following evidence:
- screenshots from a BAM-C case that that display the modified benchmark values to demonstrate that Version 1.1 benchmarks are applied to every benchmark value in the BAM-C case
- a URL link to the Version 1.1 benchmarks data
- an extract from the Version 1.1 benchmarks data of the relevant benchmark values for the case (for ease of review)
- evidence that the proposal was in-progress on the date the BAM-C update to Version 1.1 benchmarks.
For applications that have been assessed with Version 1.1 benchmarks under the transitional arrangements, decision-makers must ensure that the Biodiversity Assessment Report includes documentation and evidence required to be eligible.
To support transitional arrangements, Version 1.1 benchmarks will be published on the BAM-C public webpage.
The Biodiversity Credit Reports (Like-for Like and Variations) generated by the BAM-C will display where modified benchmarks have been used.
Find out more
- For more information about the transitional arrangements for using the revised PCT data and Version 1.2 vegetation integrity benchmarks, see the:
- For information about the NSW Integrated BioNet Vegetation Data (IBVD) program, visit the Integrated BioNet Vegetation Data for NSW webpage.
- Subscribe to the monthly BOS Update newsletter to be notified when more information, launch dates and support resources are released.
- The BOS Help Desk is available for ongoing support and enquiries.
- Find recent updates in the BOS update No. 15 newsletter.
- To find information about applying the revised PCTs in eastern NSW in a BAM assessment, refer to the Release Notes – Deployment of revised PCT Classification in the BAM-C.