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 Energy and 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 Energy and 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.
A brief description of how the mapping is developed for each of the above values is provided in the Types of Land on the Biodiversity Values Map.
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.
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 apply for a Biodiversity Values Explanation Report. The report provides detailed descriptions and maps for all biodiversity values applicable to a property. This includes specific details of biodiversity values that are identified on the Biodiversity Values Map as threatened species or communities with potential for serious and irreversible impacts.
There is no fee for an explanation report and applications are usually completed within 10-15 working days.
You can find further information on the Biodiversity Values Explanation Report process, including the application form, on the Biodiversity Values Map Review page.
Requesting a review of the mapped values on a property
You or your agent can request a review of the Biodiversity Values Map if you consider the Biodiversity Values mapped on your property are incorrect.
We recommended that you seek an explanation report describing the biodiversity values on your property before requesting a map review. There is no fee for a map review.
You can find further information on the Biodiversity Values Explanation Report or map review process, including the application form, on the Biodiversity Values Map Review page.
Updates to the Biodiversity Values Map
From time to time, we will update the Biodiversity Values Map to add or remove areas based on new information.
Updates to the Biodiversity Values 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 Biodiversity Values 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 Biodiversity Values Map' below.
The amendments made in the most recent update to the Biodiversity Values Map are set out in the following table.
|27 May 2020
|The following changes were made: