Native Vegetation Regulatory Map 2019 Annual Update: Public consultation

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is preparing to publish the 2019 annual update of the Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map.

Part 5A of the Local Lands Services Act 2014 (LLS Act) requires the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to prepare, publish and keep under review a Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) map.

An annual review of the published map has been undertaken, resulting in some re-categorisation of certain areas (rural lands) across most NSW Local Government Areas. To identify the areas which the re-categorisation relates, a proposed Revised Transitional NVR Map is now available online. Landholders can use the map viewer to view their landholding.

The proposed Revised Transitional NVR Map was open for submissions from landholders and other interested parties from 9 September 2019 to 8 October 2019. Submissions have now closed. 

The exhibition map viewer will remain available for use until the updated map is published on 9 November 2019. Following publication on 9 November 2019, the exhibition map will become the new ‘in force’ Transitional NVR map.

What's new on the map?

The following table sets out the proposed amendments made to the Transitional NVR Map as part of the annual update.

Date published Description 
9 September 2019 

Proposed 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 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   The Transitional NVR Map was released – Version 1.24 is currently 'in force' (this version includes previous monthly maintenance of the map since this date).

To find your landholding on the Revised Transitional NVR Map go to the map viewer:

  1. Select the blue Start here button.
  2. Search for your landholding by choosing one of the search menus, e.g. Find Lot/DP.

Handy tips

  • To navigate around the map: 
  • scroll up or down to increase or decrease the size of your view
  • use the buttons in the lower left corner of the map to change the map scale and turn the base image options on or off.
  • To turn map category layers on or off and adjust layer transparency click on the Layers tab in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and use the tick box controls in the legend. 

The following map colours and category definitions will help you understand what you see on the Revised Transitional NVR Map.

Revised Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map – Land Categories and map colour code

Colour Category Definition
Orange Category 2 – vulnerable regulated Under 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 Regulation sections 108, 111 and 113 sets 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 Land Excluded from the LLS Act Section 60A of the LLS Act defines 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 estate, 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 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.

What is the Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) map?

Part 5A of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act), requires the NSW Environment Agency Head to prepare and maintain a Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) map. The map designates rural land into categories, each determined by criteria described in the LLS Act.

The NVR map is a fundamental component of the land management and biodiversity reforms. It complements the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code as a tool for landholders that provides greater certainty about which native vegetation controls apply when planning management of their land.

The Transitional NVR map was published on 25 August 2017. This map is referred to as the 'Transitional' NVR, as it does not include all categories described by the LLS Act. It includes Category 2 Sensitive and Category 2 Vulnerable regulated lands. These two categories cover approximately 6% of the State.

The existing Transitional NVR Map is published on a public map viewer portal.

Why is the Transitional NVR map being updated?

Annual review of the Transitional NVR map is a legislative requirement under section 60K(2) of the LLS Act. The annual map review is needed to keep the Transitional NVR map accurate and up to date with legislation and available information.

Section 117 of LLS Regulation requires consultation with landholders on any proposed re-categorisation of land under section 60K(7) of the LLS Act and this can be via public notice for an annual review.

Why is this update happening now?

The annual map review was originally postponed to allow regulatory amendments associated with the coastal and private native forestry reforms (which were delayed) to be incorporated. The annual review was further delayed due to the NSW Election and associated caretaker period and machinery of government changes.

What is included in the proposed updated version of the NVR map? (Why has the mapping changed on my land?)

The proposed revised Transitional NVR map includes re-categorisation of land reflecting legislative changes as well as new and improved data resulting from:

  • 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 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.

What does this mean for landholders?

The proposed NVR Map revisions will have limited impact on most landholders. Most changes included in the proposed map revisions result from legislative reforms or other processes such as map reviews directly involving landholders. Overall the changes implement land categorisations that are less restricting for landholders. The amount of land categorised as sensitive will be reduced by around 424,000 hectares, providing landholders with greater flexibility.

The Map Review Process

The revised map will be published and come into force from 1 November 2019. Landholders who consider that the transitional NVR Map incorrectly categorises their land can apply for a review of the transitional NVR Map categories for their land.

A Map Review allows landholders to provide supporting information for further assessment of the categorisation of their land and to potentially re-categorise the land.
Only people who own, lawfully occupy, lease or manage land can apply for a Map Review of that land. 

Applicants need to provide information to support an application to review the transitional NVR Map categorisation. Supporting information may include land agreements, e.g. a property vegetation plan, farm records, images or approximate dates of clearing or cultivation events.

For more information about the map review process or to apply for a map review go to the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map Review webpage.

Are there any areas with increased environmental protection?

Yes, some of the proposed revisions, such as newly identified areas of critically endangered plant habitat or critically endangered ecological communities or mapped coastal wetlands, will be added to Sensitive Regulated land.

For a period of 60 days from the commencement of the exhibition period, land that is proposed to be re-categorised as sensitive is treated as the new category. This will ensure land is protected as sensitive under section 119 of the LLS Regulation until the annual map review is completed and land re-categorisation is finalised and published. The Department has endeavoured to contact affected landholders.

Why is there a public submission process?

Clause 117 of the LLS Regulation requires consultation with landholders on any proposed re-categorisation of land under section 60K(7) of the LLS Act. The revised map was exhibited for 30 days and public submissions invited from 9 September to 8 October 2019. The submission period has now closed .

What is the timeline for the annual review and publication of the revised map?

  • Public notification: Notices about the proposed re-categorisation and submission process were placed in the NSW Government Noticeboard, published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and The Land from 4 September 2019.
  • Peak stakeholder advice: 5 September to 6 September 2019 (2 days).
  • Exhibition: 9 September – 8 October 2019 (30 days)
    Public exhibition of the revised Transitional NVR map (30 days) and collation of public submissions for review. The submission period has now closed.
  • Response to submissions: 9 September 2019 – 31 October 2019
    Individual landholders may be invited to apply for a landholder initiated map review where submissions identify issues with land categorisation on their landholdings.
  • Publish revised map: 1 November 2019 the proposed revised Transitional NVR Map will be published and become the current map, replacing the 2017 version of the map. This will become Version 2.0 of the Transitional NVR Map.