Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map

The transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map was prepared by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment under Part 5A of the amended Local Land Services Act 2013 and supporting regulation.

What is the Native Vegetation Regulatory map?

The Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) categorises land to determine native vegetation management options for landholders. Some vegetation management needs approval and some does not.

The transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map is a tool that landholders can use to display the most critical land categories at a property scale during the transitional period. It essentially tells you where the land management code and allowable activities are either limited or not available. 

The transitional NVR Map currently displays category 2 – vulnerable regulated land, category 2  sensitive regulated land and land that is excluded from the LLS Act. See Understanding the map categories and colours below for a summary of currently published categories used in the transitional NVR Map.

What do the categories mean?

Category 1 – exempt land is land where native vegetation clearing is allowed without approval from Local Land Services.

Category 2 – regulated land is land where authorisation may be required from Local Land Services for native vegetation clearing. This may include clearing under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018. Landholders also have a range of allowable clearing activities available to them that can be used without approval from Local Land Services.

Category 2 – vulnerable regulated land is land designated as steep or highly erodible lands, protected riparian land or special category land. Use of the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018 and allowable clearing activities are restricted in these areas.

Category 2 – sensitive regulated land is land that has been designated as environmentally sensitive. Clearing under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018  is not permitted in these area, although there is a limited list of allowable clearing activities available. 

Excluded land refers to land outside of the land management framework. Other clearing controls may exist in these areas

Determining land categories not displayed on the map

Transitional arrangements are in place until a comprehensive NVR Map with all the land categories is published. During the ‘transitional period’, landholders are responsible for determining the categorisation of their land in accordance with section 60F of the LLS Act.

If you require assistance with determining which categories are applicable to any unmapped areas on your landholding, contact the Local Land Services office in your area. 

Land not categorised on the transitional NVR Map viewer is still bound by provisions of the legislation.

How the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map is made

The transitional NVR Map is prepared using a peer-reviewed scientific method. This method uses the best available aerial photo and satellite imagery to provide a map that shows which land category applies to vegetation across New South Wales.

The map method identifies land cleared as at January 1990, or lawfully cleared between 1 January 1990 and commencement of Part 5A of the LLS Act. It also explains how other data layers are used to categorise the land.

Using multiple lines of evidence rather than a single ‘snapshot’ interpretation of imagery, provides high level spatial and visually accurate data. The map is designed to be a dynamic product that can be updated as required to reflect changes in vegetation across the landscape. Detailed information about how the map was made is available in the NVR Map: Method Statement and appendices.

This video tells you more about How the map was made.


Regular review and updates of all transitional NVR Map categories will occur as required including:

  • annual updates following application of new or improved data 
  • more frequent updates capturing changes such as new or ending code certification recategorisation and set-aside sites
  • Landholder Initiated Map Review (Map Review) changes.

The 2019 Annual Review of the transitional NVR map was published on 22 November 2019. See What’s new on the map? below for details about changes occurring as a result of the 2019 Annual Review. The latest version of the map can be viewed online using the NVR Map Viewer.

Due to ongoing refinements and updates to the transitional NVR Map you should always check if the map has changed before undertaking any management activities on your property. The Map Viewer will allow you to print a date stamped version of the map. It is recommended that you print a copy of the map for your records before undertaking any vegetation clearing works.

Future publication of a draft comprehensive NVR Map showing proposed mapping of the additional categories is under consideration. When released, the draft comprehensive NVR Map categories will be available to landholders and approval authorities for information, review and consultation.  Map reviews will continue to be available to landholders during and after the transitional period. See 'About the different versions of the map' on the More information page to find out more about land categories for future release.

What's new on the map?

The following table sets out the timetable for published versions of the map. Other minor maintenance of the map is ongoing. 

Date published Description
22 November 2019 
(Version 2.0)

Changes arising from the annual review update include:

  • removal of all approval areas for Private Native Forestry Property Vegetation Plans from category 2 – sensitive regulated land
  • additions to category 2 – sensitive regulated land of set-aside areas approved between August 2017 and May 2019 under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018
  • additions and removals to category 2 – sensitive regulated land from updated mapping of Wetland and Rainforest areas under the Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).
  • revisions to the habitat for some Critically Endangered Plants in category 2 – sensitive regulated land
  • inclusion of rural lands zoned as RU3 (Forestry) as land subject to the LLS Act and otherwise determined as category 2 – sensitive or category 2 – vulnerable regulated lands
  • updates to land re-categorised since publication of the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map in August 2017 including land retained or remediated under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, Plantations and Reafforestation Act 1999, Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997, Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • updates to Private Native Forestry Rainforest and Old Growth mapping under the Local Land Services Act 2013
  • updates to category 2 – sensitive regulated land reflecting changes to Comprehensive Koala Plans of Management managed by local councils. 
 25 August 2017 
(Version 1.0)
 The transitional NVR Map was first published.

Each category is developed using a combination of rigorous scientific assessment by experienced scientists and the integration of particular data required by the legislation. Publicly released NVR Map categories are available via the NVR Map Viewer.

The following map colours and category definitions will help you understand what you see on the revised transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map:

Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map – Land categories and map colour code

Colour Category Definition Colour Definition


Category 2 -vulnerable regulated Undersection 60F(2)(c) of the LLS Act, land designated as 'steep or highly erodible lands, protected riparian land or special category land' on the map is category 2 – vulnerable regulated land. Native vegetation on this land includes dead and non-native plants (s 60B(3)). Brown Where category 2 – vulnerable regulated and category 2 – sensitive regulated map layers overlap – they are shown on the NVR Map as brown 
Pink Category 2 -sensitive regulated
The LLS Regulationsections 108,111and113 set out what land is to be designated as sensitive regulated land. It includes land that the Environment Agency Head reasonably believes includes certain coastal wetlands, certain rainforests, core koala habitat, certain high conservation grasslands, certain critically endangered entities, land subject to private land conservation agreements or certain incentive agreements or covenants, or land that meets other environmental criteria listed in the legislation.
Grey Excluded land

Section 60A of the LLS Actdefines parts of the state where land is excluded from the operation of Part 5A of the LLS Act. These areas include state forests, national park estates, Lord Howe Island and certain conservation areas across the state.

Urban areas of the state to which State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 applies are also excluded from Part 5A of the LLS Act. These areas include a range of metropolitan local government areas, as well as a number of land zones contained within Local Environmental Plans such as residential, commercial, industrial, recreation and environmental zones.

Land that is not yet categorised on the revised transitional NVR Map

Land on the revised transitional NVR Map not depicted as one of the categories shown above is still bound by provisions of the LLS Act. Landholders seeking to use the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code or otherwise remove native vegetation on these areas must refer to the legislation to determine what category of land the native vegetation is on and what authorisation may be required.

For information about determining land categories not yet displayed on the NVR Map, please contact your Local Land Services.

More information