The map identifies land with high biodiversity value that is particularly sensitive to impacts from development and clearing. This can include areas of native vegetation, threatened species or their habitats and areas of outstanding biodiversity value. The map is prepared by the Department of Planning and Environment under Part 7 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It is updated periodically to add or remove areas. An outline of the changes made in updates to the map is on the BV Map webpage.
Where the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies, you will need to engage an Accredited Assessor to prepare a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR) as part of the development application process. The BDAR sets out how you propose to avoid, minimise and offset impacts of the proposed development. For more information about the application of the scheme, please visit When does the Biodiversity Offset Scheme apply? It is recommended that you consult your council about the application of the scheme before lodgement.
How to check if your site is on the Biodiversity Values Map
You can view the map in the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold (BMAT) Tool. Refer to the BMAT Tool User Guide on finding your property on the map and determine if your proposed development site is affected.
If your site is on the map, you are encouraged to get a free Biodiversity Values Explanation Report. This report will detail information about the biodiversity values mapped on the site.
Using the Biodiversity Values Map Explanation Reports and Map Review
You can also apply for a Map Review of your site, using the Biodiversity Map Review Application. It is recommended that you get a Biodiversity Values Explanatory Report before applying for a Map Review, but this is not a requirement. You are encouraged to apply for a Map Review before having a BDAR prepared and lodging your development application; however, you may still seek a Map Review while your application is being assessed. There is no guarantee it will result in any change to or removal of your site from the map, and areas could be added to the map.
The department does not charge a fee for assessing your application. However, if you use an agent to act on your behalf and/or engage a consultant to provide information to support your application, they are likely to charge a fee.
What to do if your site has been removed from the Biodiversity Values Map
The table below shows recommended steps for proponents to take before lodging, and after lodging a development application, where the map may be relevant.
Note, if your site has been removed from the map, check there are no other reasons that a BDAR may be required. For example, if you are proposing to clear native vegetation that exceeds the area clearing threshold, or by causing a significant effect under the threatened species test of significance.
Steps for considering the Biodiversity Values Map at each stage of the development application process
|Stage of development application||Step 1: Check BV Map||Step 2: Pause||Step 3: Further checks||Step 4: Final Steps|
✔ Check the BV Map
If your site is on the BV Map:
✔ Check if your proposed development is or involves:
✔ Consider getting a BV Explanation Report and Map Review1
|If getting a BV Explanation Report or Map Review, consider pausing BDAR preparation (if not already prepared) until you have the results||If your site is removed from the BV Map:
✔ Check the area clearing threshold of land to be cleared2
✔ Complete a test of significance if the Scheme hasn’t already been applied3
|If the land to be impacted:
|Development application assessment by council|
|Determination by council to provide development consent (credit obligation has not been met)||✔ Check the BV Map||If your site is removed from the BV Map:
Pause any offset obligation measures you are taking
|As above||If your land has been removed from the BV Map and the Scheme doesn’t apply for any other reason, consider discussing options with council|
|Determination by council to provide development consent (credit obligation has been met)||No action is possible. Development approved and offset obligation met based on the regulatory requirements that applied at the time|
- There is no guarantee that a Map Review will result in any changes, removal, or addition of biodiversity values to the BV Map for your site. BV Map changes may also occur as a result of updating or adding mapping of threatened species or threatened ecological communities or changes to mapping of other values in the updates of the BV Map.
- A BDAR will be required if the development site will require clearing native vegetation that exceeds the area clearing threshold.
- A BDAR will be required if land clearing and development is likely to significantly affect threatened species or ecological communities or their habitats as per the threatened species test of significance.
- As the costs of preparing a BDAR cannot be refunded it is recommended to request a Map Review prior to lodging your development application with council.