Local government and other decision maker support

A range of guidance materials to support councils and other decision makers implementing the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

Guidance and resources

The NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Resource Manual is an introductory, self-help tool designed for Local Government officers who review and assess development and vegetation clearing proposals. The manual provides information about the scheme (including BAM), clarification on the local Ggovernment officer roles and responsibilities as a decision-maker and direction to key resources for information, tools and guidance.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is conducting training designed for local government officers and accredited assessors. The training is conducted by Greencap via an online 12-Part eLearning Series introducing and detailing the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme. Please note access to the eLearning modules will only be open until 30 April 2022. For further information about the online training, visit Greencap's website.

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Support webinars is a series of webinars for accredited assessors, local government (AND decision-makers) implementing the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

From January 2022, the Accredited Assessor (AA) and Local Government (LG) updates have merged into one overarching newsletter; the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Updates (BOS Updates). The BOS Updates provide accredited assessors, and local government shared information that is consistent and up to date with the latest improvements and advice on the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (the Scheme). We aim to improve how we communicate with our partners to help support the delivery of the Scheme. Your feedback on how we can improve is encouraged. Please submit your feedback with our Your feedback: BOS Updates Newsletter form (3 minutes).

If you would like to update your details, be added to our BOS Updates distribution list, or forward this to a colleague, please sign up to our monthly BOS Update newsletters. A list of all our previous AA and LG updates can be viewed on Accredited Assessor Updates and Local Government Updates.

Recent updates

BOS Update No.12 – 31 January 2023 (PDF 167KB)

  • Fast-tracking the supply of biodiversity credits
  • New Practice Note: Offset rules and ecosystem credits
  • High volume of scheme credit transfer and retirement applications
  • BCF Charge System Price Estimation Service to commence shortly
  • Upcoming Webinars
    • Transitional arrangements for revised PCTs and Version 1.2 benchmarks
    • Improving delivery of Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements
  • Updated Guidance for local government
  • Updated scheme credit retirement form published
  • Update to BAM-C – Version 1.2 benchmarks
  • IPART Terms of Reference finalised
  • Release notes: Deployment of V1.2 Benchmarks in the BAM C (PDF 792KB)

BOS Update No.11 – 16 December 2022 (PDF 200KB)

  • BOS Help Desk – availability over Christmas and the new year
  • Major update to the BAM-Calculator in February 2023 to include revised PCTs and V1.2 benchmarks
  • New Platform to manage the BOS Help Desk
  • New guidance for BAM Appendix D – Planted Native Vegetation Streamlined Assessment
  • Improvements to credits wanted listings in BOAMs
  • Assurance check gives BCF Charge System a thumbs up
  • The scheme bushfire exemption extension
  • New guidance for determining native vegetation land categorisation in the scheme
  • Updated BAM-C and TBDC
  • Request SAII data from the department
  • Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund
  • Fast-tracking the supply of biodiversity credits
  • Happy holidays
  • Improvements to credit wanted listings (PDF 100KB)
  • Release Notes BAM-C December 2022 (PDF 245KB)

BOS Update No. 10 – 15 November 2022 (PDF 169KB)

  • Assuming presence of species might not always be the most cost-effective option for proponents
  • New Biodiversity Conservation Fund (BCF) Charge System has commenced
  • Updated BAM-C, TBDC and SAII lists
  • Book in for Accredited Assessor Training
  • A simpler BSA application form
  • Credit Supply Fund now in operation
  • IPART is seeking feedback on its role monitoring the biodiversity credits market
  • Draft Native Vegetation Regulatory map release
  • Update to advice on unlawful clearing
  • Reminder to submit BOS Credit transfers and retirements applications as soon as possible
  • New BOS Credit Ownership report
  • Credit Holding list view disabled in BOAMS
  • Linking corporation landholder case parties in BOAMS
  • BOAMS – DA Number/Major Projects ID field can now be edited by Accredited Assessors
  • Threatened reptiles – Biodiversity Assessment Method survey guide published
  • Reminder that BAM Support Mailbox has been replaced by BOS Help Desk
  • Biodiversity Offsets Scheme: Release Notes: October 2022 (PDF 1.3MB)
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement application form (PDF 1.0MB)

BOS Update No. 9 – 30 September 2022 (PDF 169KB)

  • New Biodiversity Conservation Fund (BCF) Charge System commences on 17 October 2022
  • Credits Supply Taskforce and Fund Update
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) Ecological Monitoring Module field training days
  • Biodiversity Values Map update
  • Update: Revised eastern NSW PCTs in the Threatened Biodiversity Database Collection (TBDC)
  • Biodiversity Offsets Scheme video series
  • When do Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR) waivers apply?

BOS Update No. 8 – 13 September 2022 (PDF 221KB)

  • Audit Office report on the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme
  • Making it easier for landholders to set up a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA)
  • In-demand credits list for landholders
  • Credit Supply Taskforce seeking accredited assessors
  • Accredited assessors training
  • Annual update to the regent honeyeater important habitat map
  • NSW Natural Capital Programs factsheet
  • Release of the Aligning Biodiversity Assessments factsheet
  • Updated High Threat Weeds list
  • Sell credits to the BCT – Tender closes 28 September 2022
  • New subdivision and threshold videos
  • Have your say on a National Biodiversity Market
  • September Top Tip: Staying up to date in the accredited assessor public register

BOS Update No. 7 – 15 August 2022 (PDF 163KB)

  • Initiatives to increase credits supply and market participation
  • Credits Supply Taskforce – now in operation
  • Demand Expressions of Interest (EOI)
  • Stewardship Expressions of Interest (EOI)
  • New discount rate for Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements (BSAs) – effective Monday 15 August
  • Revised Plant Community Types (PCTs) for eastern NSW are not yet operational in BAM
  • Updated High Threat Weeds list
  • Register for BOS Support Webinar #29
  • New features in BMAT tool
  • Advice for calculating the area clearing threshold in partially exotic groundcover
  • August Top Tip: Accessing BAM-C assessments for Government reviewers

BOS Update No. 6 – 28 July 2022 (PDF 163KB)

  • Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Support August Webinar
  • BioNet Threatened Biodiversity Data Collection (TBDC) – advice for targeted surveys and mapping species polygons
  • Sell credits to the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) – Tender opens 7 September
  • Get involved in the Accredited Assessor Forum
  • Changes to Biodiversity Offsets and Agreement Management System (BOAMS) Organisation (Business) Accounts
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust update on Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA) applications

BOS Updates No. 5 - 27 June 2022 (PDF 275 KB)

  • Boost to environmental conservation through Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund 
  • New credit pricing tools
  • Assumed presence
  • BAM-C, TBDC, and SAII list to be updated 
  • The Plant Community Type to Offset Trading Group lookup tool
  • Offset Trading Group remediation of data published on public registers
  • Eastern NSW PCT data release
  • New BAM Survey Guide available – Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
  • Update to BAM Operational Manual – Stage 1
  • Renewal training for accredited assessors
  • Upcoming Ecological Monitoring Module field training days
  • Emailing ZIP files to the department
  • Fee Update
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust update on BSA applications

BOS Updates No. 4 - 16 May 2022 (PDF 111KB)

  • Upcoming BOS Support Webinar 28 
  • New Local Government Resource Manual 
  • BARs must be certified and contain a finalised credit report
  • New fact sheet on the Biodiversity Values Map
  • BCT update on BSA applications 

BOS Updates No. 3 – 12 April 2022 (PDF 223KB)

Demand information

  • Transport for NSW releases forward biodiversity credit demand estimates

Training for local government and assessors

  • Free Local Government training sponsorship
  • Renewal training for accredited assessors

New resources

  • Release of Biodiversity Development Assessment Report template
  • New information video on the Biodiversity Assessment Method
  • New biodiversity certification factsheets for landholders and local government
  • New and updated forms for credit transfers and retirements

Biodiversity Values Map

  • Biodiversity Values Map Update Version 13
  • Fact Sheets and guides on the Biodiversity Values Map

Update on the BOS Help Desk

Minor correction to legislative reference in BOS Update No 1

BOS Updates No. 2 – 14 March 2022 (PDF 176KB)

  • New BOS Help Desk and webinars
  • BCF Charge System webinar
  • Free training for local government
  • EOI to become a BOS BAM Trainer
  • Accredited assessors audit report and webinar
  • New accredited assessor consultation forum
  • New case study: The Office of Strategic Lands
  • Active Restoration under the Biodiversity Offset Scheme – New Research Project
  • BCT Statewide Biodiversity Credit Tender
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Site Assessment Report template – call for feedback
  • BSA Ecological Monitoring Module (EMM)
  • BSA livestock grazing guidelines –update
  • BSA Applications

BOS Updates No. 1 – 9 February 2022 (PDF 207KB)

  • New name, now Department of Planning and Environment (DPE)
  • Quick recap: December 2021 updates
  • BCT Statistics
  • Indicative Demand Analysis
  • Quick guide to find biodiversity credits to offset your credit obligation
  • Upcoming BOS Support Webinar
  • BOS now applies to complying development on non-rural land above the BOS threshold
  • Public display of SAII entities

For Accredited Assessors

For Local Government

  • Sponsorship opportunity for local government BOS training

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 18 (PDF 287KB)

  • BAM Support Mailbox: Christmas shutdown
  • Expressions of interest: Sponsorship to receive new training for council staff
  • Vegetation SEPP amendments
  • Improvements to the BOS
  • Hearings for the Parliamentary Inquiry
  • Call out for case studies
  • Opportunities to sell credits to the Biodiversity Conservation Trust
  • BCT Statistics
  • Happy Holidays

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 17 (PDF 240KB)

  • Biodiversity Values Map update V.12
  • BOS Support Webinar No. 24 – Recording and Q&A
  • Biodiversity Assessment Method Transitional arrangements ended 22 October
  • Manageable High Threat Weeds – Practice Note
  • System updates
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 16 (PDF 212KB)

  • Impact on BAM Support Mailbox response times
  • How should vegetation clearing for bushfire protection be considered under Part 7 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016?
  • Pre-release Eastern NSW Plant Community Type data
  • Plains-wanderer Important Habitat Map
  • General Notes section of the Threatened Biodiversity Data Collection
  • Serious and Irreversible Impact BAM 2020 data
  • BAM Transitional arrangements
  • System Update
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement sites: calculating interim ecological response targets
  • Information sessions on Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement products
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 15 (PDF 170KB)

  • Replacement of the Biodiversity Offsets Payment Calculator - continued consultation
  • Public exhibition of BDARs
  • Subscribe to SEED datasets
  • Check BAM-Calculator reports are consistent with Biodiversity Assessment Reports
  • Videos explain the BOS in a nutshell
  • System Update
  • Information sessions about Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust Update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 14 (PDF 250KB)

  • BAM data import on 7 June 2021
  • BOS enquiry form improves response time
  • Reminder – BARs must contain a finalised credit report
  • How to submit and send back BOAMS cases
  • System fixes and updates
  • Mailbox query responses in 3 days

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 13 (PDF 221KB)

  • 'New' Plant Community Types are displaying in the BioNet Threatened Biodiversity Database Collection (TBDC)
  • Koala SEPP Questions and Answers
  • Local Government resources webpage
  • Scheduled BAM data import
  • System Updates
  • BCT Update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 12 (PDF 167KB)

  • Launch of the SEED Layer Intersection Tool
  • Using BioNet for BAM assessments
  • BAM Transitional arrangements end soon for some applications
  • Reminder: Consultation on changes to the BOS open until 19 April
  • Fire Extent and Severity Mapping (FESM)
  • System Updates
  • BCT Update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 11 (PDF 92KB)

  • Deferral of January update to the BOPC
  • Reminder: Transitional Arrangements for BARs prepared using BAM 2017
  • New guidance for assessing habitat suitability
  • Planned update to threatened species data in BAM-C on 29th April
  • BCT update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 10 (PDF 94KB)

  • Welcome back
  • BAM 2020 Operational Manual
  • Update on BAM Assessor renewal training and new assessor training modules
  • New Guidance for the application of modified benchmarks to the assessment of vegetation integrity
  • BOS credit retirement/transfer forms

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 9 (PDF 70KB)

  • BAM Support mailbox: Christmas close down
  • BOS Bushfire Exemption
  • Koala SEPP 2020
  • BOS Support Webinar – Q&A
  • Biodiversity Vales Map Update V.11
  • BCT Update
  • BOPC Update Frequency Change
  • Clearing area threshold and the BMAT Tool
  • Seeking concurrence for a reduced credit obligation

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 8 (PDF 53KB)

  • Transitional arrangements
  • NSW Survey Guide for Threatened Frogs
  • Biodiversity Offsets Payment Calculator Update
  • BAM Operational Manual – Stage 3
  • First trade of BAM species credits
  • Biodiversity credit open fixed price offer
  • Biodiversity Conservation Trust Update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update: Special Edition – BAM 2020 (PDF 52KB)

The BAM 2020 includes the following new features:

  • improved language so it is easier to understand and apply
  • clearer assessment requirements for prescribed and indirect impacts
  • alignment of impact assessment criteria for entities at risk of a serious and irreversible impact with the principles listed in the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation
  • a new streamlined assessment module for planted native vegetation
  • revisions to existing streamlined assessment modules for paddock trees (renamed 'scattered trees') and small areas, clarifying when they can be used and providing additional guidance on their application
  • minor changes to estimating biodiversity gain from management actions on offset sites to provide a more consistent and robust approach
  • a new appendix to support strategic biodiversity certification
  • updated format and section numbering to meet accessibility standards so all users can access the BAM.

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 7 (PDF 46KB)

  • Swift parrot important area map
  • New BioNet Power Queries – ID species within a sub region and PCT
  • BioNet video tutorials
  • Complaints and Feedback Management Policy (2020)
  • Have your say – Accredited Assessor Draft CPD guideline
  • BOS Educational video series
  • BOS support webinar
  • BAM Assessor training and accreditation renewal updates

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 6 (PDF 48KB)

  • Does the 14-day submittal period apply to amended biodiversity assessment reports? 
  • NSW BOS and Land Management Framework Flowcharts 
  • Compliance and State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017
  • High Threat Weed list review  
  • Interim Advice – Species Polygons Dual Credit Bird Species 
  • BOS Support webinar 

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 5 (PDF 67KB)

  • Preparing conditions of consent for a variation rule credit retirement
  • Biodiversity Offset Scheme support webinars
  • Biodiversity Offset Scheme website survey
  • Biodiversity Offset Scheme educational video series
  • Do you have an Avoid and Minimise case study to share?
  • Biodiversity Offsets Payment Calculator update

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 4 (PDF 72KB)

  • BOS fees 2020–21
  • BOS Support Webinars
  • Display of Equivalent BAM credits on BOS public register (supply)
  • What is the 14 day BAR submittal period?

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 3 (PDF 1419KB)

  • Streamlining NSW and Australian Government Biodiversity Assessments
  • Application of new or revised survey guidelines
  • BOS support videos for LG
  • Biodiversity Values Map Update v10
  • Upcoming BOS support webinar
  • System information and updates
  • Application forms to transfer and retire BOS credits
  • Correction to BOS Support for LG webinar – contacts for advice

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 2 (PDF 139KB)

  • Mailing list subscriptions and ‘Local government resources’ webpage
  • Test of significance in the context of rebuilding from bushfire
  • Biodiversity Values Map update on 27 May 2020
  • Regent honeyeater important areas – update
  • Threatened plants survey guide – revised
  • BOS Support webinars

Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Local Government Update No. 1 (PDF 119KB)

NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme and Land Management Framework Biodiversity Assessment and Approval Pathways

The NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme and Land Management Framework: Biodiversity Assessment and Approval Pathways for Local Government (4 August 2020) has been published in an interim form. We are continuing to make improvements to this resource to simplify guidance and ensure accessibility.

Please contact the BOSCREDITS Mailbox BOSCREDITS@environment.nsw.gov.au if you need help with this resource.