The Biodiversity Values (BV) Map identifies land with high biodiversity value that is particularly sensitive to impacts from development and clearing. The map forms part of the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Threshold which is one of the triggers for determining whether the Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS) applies to a clearing or development proposal. The map is prepared by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department) under Part 7 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).
Values on the Biodiversity Values Map
Clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 describes types of land the Environment Agency Head can include on the BV Map. Land types are:
- coastal wetlands and littoral rainforest mapped under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 (Coastal Management SEPP)
- core koala habitat identified in a plan of management under State Environmental Planning Policy No 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44)
- declared Ramsar wetlands defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- land containing threatened species or threatened ecological communities identified as potential serious and irreversible impacts (SAII) under section 6.5 of the BC Act
protected riparian land
- high conservation value grasslands or groundcover
- old growth forest identified in mapping developed under the National Forests Policy Statement but excluding areas not meeting the criteria published jointly by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries
- rainforest identified in mapping developed under the National Forests Policy Statement but excluding areas not meeting the criteria published jointly by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries
- declared areas of outstanding biodiversity value
- council nominated areas with connectivity or threatened species habitat that the Minister for the Environment considers will conserve biodiversity at bioregional or state scale
any other land that in the opinion of the Environment Agency Head is of sufficient biodiversity value to be included.
Using the Biodiversity Values Map
The BV Map is relevant for:
- local developments (development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 which is not state significant development or complying development)
- clearing regulated by the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP).
If a relevant clearing or development proposal has one of the following impacts in an area on the BV Map, the BOS applies:
- clearing native vegetation
- an impact prescribed under clause 6.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation.
In some areas of New South Wales, e.g. some areas of Western Sydney, commencement of the BOS (including the BV Map) for local development has been delayed. Visit transitional arrangements to find out when the Scheme applies to local development in your area.
Viewing the Biodiversity Values Map
You can view the BV Map through the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold (BMAT) tool. Note: When accessing the BMAT tool on Windows 10 devices, it is recommended that you use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.
The tool allows developers, landholders and consent authorities to determine whether proposed development or clearing activates the BOS. You can use the tool to search for a location using an address or lot and deposited plan (DP) number and display the type of biodiversity value(s) occurring at a location. The tool can also produce a report stating whether the BOS threshold is triggered. The BMAT tool should be used as a guide only – consent authorities assess and determine development applications.
For more information about the BMAT tool, read the BMAT tool user guide.
Accessing the Biodiversity Values Map data
You can access BV Map spatial data through the Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) Portal.
There are two options for accessing the BV Map Spatial data through the SEED Portal:
- Web Mapping Service. For users with a compatible GIS, we provide a web service which can be used to access the current version of the BV Map.
- Download Package. Where use of the web mapping service is not feasible, data download packages are also available from SEED. The format of the data in the download package is ESRI file geodatabase. While in some instances, the use of geodatabase may be preferable, users need to be aware that the BV Map is updated regularly, and currency of the data is only valid on the day of download. Users should regularly check the Biodiversity Values Map homepage for updates.
Information about mapped values on a property
Landholders, or their agents, can request a BV Map Explanation Report. The report provides detailed descriptions and maps for all biodiversity values applicable to a landholding. This includes locations where the biodiversity value is a threatened species and/or community and the species and/or community name.
Local councils or the Native Vegetation Panel can also request a BV Map Explanation Report for a property that is subject to a development or clearing application.
There is no fee for an explanation report and applications are usually completed within 15 working days.
Requesting a review of the mapped values on a property
You or your agent can request a review of the BV Map for your property if you feel a value has been incorrectly mapped. A review may result in an amendment to the map. You will receive a report on the review outcomes. We recommended that you seek an explanation report describing the biodiversity values on your landholding before requesting a map review.
To request a map review, complete the Biodiversity Values Map Review application form, or contact the Map Review Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 02 6360 9000. There is no fee for a BV Map review.
Updates to the Biodiversity Values Map
From time to time, we will update the BV Map to add or remove areas based on new information.
Updates to the BV Map are likely to include targeted reviews of specific data layers or regions. This process may result in inclusion or removal of some lands from the map. We will contact relevant data custodians to request updated or new data. Areas added to the BV Map in the last 90 days are displayed differently from areas that have been on the map longer than 90 days. For more information about how colours are used on the map, see ‘Areas added to the BV Map’ below.
The following table sets out amendments made to the BV Map.
|28 August 2019
The following changes were made:
|29 May 2019
The following changes were made:
|27 February 2019
The following changes were made:
– to enable users to determine types of biodiversity values at a location
– to include on the Tool Report the date when 90 days expires for areas added in the most recent version of the map.
|14 December 2018
|Changes resulting from landholder initiated map reviews.|
|9 November 2018
The following changes were made:
See the BV Map – version 3 fact sheet for more information on these changes.
13 December 2017
Addition of mapping for:
25 August 2017
Release of the original state-wide map
Areas added to the Biodiversity Values Map
Proposed development to be carried out on land added to the BV Map does not exceed the BOS threshold if the land is the subject of an application for planning approval when the land was included on the BV Map and for 90 days after.
Areas added to the BV Map in the last 90 days are shown in dark purple to distinguish them from areas that have been on the map longer than 90 days which are shown in light purple.
For areas added in the last 90 days, the report generated by the BMAT Tool states the date that this 90-day period expires, after which, a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR) would be required for clearing in these areas.
Areas on the biodiversity values map where the proposal does not involve clearing native vegetation or threatened species habitat
If development within areas on the BV Map does not involve clearing native vegetation (including groundcover, trees and understorey plants) or a prescribed impact (as set out in clause 6.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017) within the mapped area, the BOS is not applied based on the BV Map. Development applications need to show evidence to support this.
However, the proponent must also consider other criteria for the BOS:
- whether the area of native vegetation clearing in areas not on the BV Map exceeds the clearing area thresholds as specified in clause 7.2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017
- whether the proposed development or activity is likely to significantly affect threatened species, or ecological communities or their habitats based on the test of significance in section 7.3 of the BC Act.
Local government nominations for additions to the Biodiversity Values Map
We expect to call for local government nominations for land to be included on the map. This will be communicated directly to local government.
The Minister for the Environment must be of the view that the nominated land will be of bioregional or state significance. The nominated land must also be approved by the Environment Agency Head.
At this stage there has been no call for nominations from local government.
Relationship between the Biodiversity Values Map and the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map
Some land included on the BV Map is also land categorised on the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map (NVR Map). However, the two maps have different purposes. The NVR Map determines how clearing on rural land not requiring planning approval, is regulated under the Local Land Services Act 2013 and associated regulation. The BV Map represents one of the criteria for entry into the BOS for some types of clearing and development proposals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Although the two maps have different purposes, changes made to the BV Map involving mapping criteria in common with the NVR Map will lead to a category change on the NVR Map. Find out more about the NVR Map.