Native Vegetation Regulatory Map: more information

Find out more about the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map, land categories and how to change the category of your land.

About the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map

The Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map is an essential part of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act), Part 5A and guides the application of the land management code and allowable activities as part of the new land management framework for NSW.

Each category of the NVR Map has been developed using a combination of rigorous scientific assessment by experienced scientists and the integration of data required by the legislation.

The NVR map is designed to be a dynamic product that can be updated to reflect changes in vegetation across the landscape and incorporate changes through the operation of the land management framework.

Regular review and updates to the NVR Map will occur as required. Landholders should regularly check the NVR Map Viewer for the status of categories to ensure they have the latest available release information applicable to their landholding.

Detailed information about how the map was made is available in the NVR Map: Method Statement (PDF 2.5MB).

Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map – published in August 2017 – currently in force

On commencement of Part 5A in August 2017, a transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map (NVR Map) was published for use during the transitional period. The transitional NVR Map does not include all categories defined in the legislation. The transitional NVR Map can be viewed using the NVR Map Viewer.

During the ‘transitional period’, landholders are responsible for determining the categorisation of their land in accordance with section 60F of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act). If you require assistance with determining which categories are applicable to your landholding, contact the Local Land Services office in your area.

The land categories and colours displayed on the currently in-force transitional NVR Map can be viewed on the Native Vegetation Regulatory Map webpage.

Revised Transitional NVR Map – draft out for public consultation

The revised transitional NVR Map has been released as a draft and landholders and other interested parties can comment. The revised transitional NVR Map will be published and become enforceable following completion of the submission process and will then replace the currently in-force transitional NVR Map.  For more information and to comment visit Native Vegetation Regulatory Map Update Consultation
The revised transitional NVR Map will display the same land categories and colours as the currently in-force transitional NVR Map, but where category 2 – vulnerable regulated (orange) and category 2 – sensitive regulated (pink) map layers overlap, it will be shown on the NVR map as brown.

A comprehensive NVR Map for the future

Publication of a comprehensive NVR Map that categorises all land in New South Wales is under consideration. A comprehensive NVR Map would be released showing any new categories as draft so landholders and other interested parties have an opportunity to make submissions. A comprehensive NVR Map would not be become enforceable until completion of the submission process and final publication.

A draft comprehensive NVR Map would display the same land categories as the currently in-force transitional NVR Map plus the following land categories and colours:

 Colour Category  Definition summary 
Blue Category 1 - exempt land

For future release

This category displays land that can be managed without requiring approval under Part 5A of the LLS Act and mostly includes the following types of land, provided they are not required to be categorised as Category 2 – regulated land under certain criteria:

  • land cleared (or significantly disturbed or modified in the case of grasslands or other non-woody vegetation) at 1 January 1990 or lawfully cleared between 1 January 1990 and 25 August 2017
  • land containing, low conservation value grasslands or groundcover (identified using the Interim Grassland and other Groundcover Assessment method (IGGAM)) and/or native vegetation identified as regrowth in a property vegetation plan under the Native Vegetation Act 2003
  • biodiversity certified land to which Part 5A of the LLS Act applies.

Other legislation may apply.

See Part 5A section 60H of the LLS Act (clause 109-110 of the LLS Regulation)for a full description of category 1 – exempt land. 

Yellow Category 2 - regulated land 

For future release

This category displays land where clearing is regulated and can only be carried out in accordance with Part 5A of the LLS Act. It generally includes:

  • land not cleared of native vegetation at, or unlawfully cleared since, 1 January 1990 as well as land with existing conservation obligations including remedial directions
  • areas mapped as draft category 2 because of specific criteria stipulated in the LLS Act or LLS Regulation.

See Part 5A section 60I of the LLS Act (clauses 109, 111–113) for a full description of category 2 – regulated land. 


The Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code (the Code) does not permit clearing on some land categories; for example, use of the Code is prohibited on category 2 – sensitive regulated land. Landholders should refer to the Local Land Services website for more information.

Koala habitat shown on the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map is derived from approved Koala Plans of Management (KPOM) made under State Environmental Planning Policy 44 – Koala Habitat Protection where they exist across New South Wales.

Part 5A of the LLS Act and LLS Regulation requires koala habitat identified in an approved KPOM to be mapped as sensitive regulated land if, in the opinion of the Environment Agency Head, they are ‘core’ koala habitat.

Although KPOM map data is categorised as category 2 – sensitive regulated land on the transitional NVR Map, the data is managed by the local council or planning authority that established the KPOM. Enquiries about KPOM mapping should be directed to the relevant council at first instance. Councils will advise the Department of any necessary changes to the NVR map.

Although there are some overlaps between land included on the Biodiversity Values (BV) Map and the way land is categorised on the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map, the two maps have different purposes.

The transitional NVR Map was developed to underpin the new land management framework during a transitional period. It shows excluded land to which Part 5A of the LLS Act does not apply. It also shows:

  • category 2 – sensitive regulated land – for which where clearing under the  (the Code) is not available and to which a more restricted range of allowable activities applies
  • category 2 – vulnerable regulated land – where a more restricted range of allowable activities apply; where clearing under the Code may be available but to which additional restrictions may apply and upon which dead and non-of native vegetation is also regulated.

The BV Map applies to local development under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and clearing of native vegetation regulated under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017. The BV Map identifies land with high biodiversity value as defined by the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017. It is one of the mechanisms used to determine when the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies to development requiring approval under the EP&A Act.

There are some similarities between the NVR Map and the BV Map, e.g. they both use some of the same underlying data sets.

More information about the NVR Map is available on our Native Vegetation Regulatory Map webpage or you can contact the Map Review team at map.review@environment.nsw.gov.au or 02 6360 9000.

More information about the BV Map and the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme is available on our Biodiversity Offsets Scheme entry requirements webpage or by visiting Biodiversity Offsets Scheme support.

A ‘cadastre’ is an official register of property showing land parcels or other boundaries. The Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB) is a digital representation of the cadastre of New South Wales. The DCDB does not confer ownership on any land, as this is recorded in the NSW Torrens Title register.

It is important to understand that the DCDB is not a survey accurate representation of cadastre and property boundaries. Accurate survey plans may be obtained from NSW Land Registry Services. The DCDB is displayed with the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map to assist land owners to use lot and Deposited Plan (lot/DP) numbers to search for and identify their land holdings.

When viewing the NVR Map, it is likely that parcel boundaries of your landholding may not align correctly with features like roads and fence lines visible in the background image or parts of the NVR Map. The degree of any misalignment will vary according to the scale the map is being viewed at and where in the state the property is located.

Any misalignment present on the transitional NVR Map can also be compounded by other issues such as: 

  • fence lines not erected on the correct surveyed boundary
  • a give and take fence arrangement in place for a long time
  • crown roads enclosed within a property
  • creeks and rivers that have naturally changed course following the original survey, or
  • title to the ‘centre thread of the stream’ rules.

If you have located your landholding using the cadastral information, the transitional NVR Map should then be viewed and interpreted using only the coloured NVR categories. The transitional NVR Map categories provide landholders with the information needed to determine which land categories apply to your landholding..

Category explanation reports

A Category Explanation Report (CER) provides a detailed map and definition of all published transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map layers that apply to areas of land identified in a CER application. The basis for categorisation may include such matters as whether the land is subject to an agreement such as a property vegetation plan or a conservation plan, and whether the land comprises certain wetlands, rainforest, private native forests, critically endangered ecological communities or high conservation value grasslands, among others.

More information about the CER is provided in the Your land category explained factsheet (PDF 220KB).

A CER can only be provided for land that is owned, lawfully occupied (including leased) or managed by the applicant. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will verify your identification and your direct association with the land before providing a CER. The CER application can cover all, or part of, your landholding.

If you are satisfied with the transitional NVR Map categories applied to your land, you do not need to apply for a CER or a Landholder Initiated Map Review.

A Category Explanation Report (CER) application must include proof of identification and proof of land ownership or direct association with the landholding, such as:

  • driver licence or passport (proof of identification)
  • local government rate notice showing lot/DP numbers or a title search/certificate of title (proof of ownership)
  • lease agreements or other documents verifying your direct association to the landholding (proof of direct association with landholding).

There is no fee for a CER.

To find out how to apply for a CER, go to our Regulatory map review webpage.

You can authorise an agent, consultant or other person to submit applications on your behalf. To do this, complete the Agent’s Authority to Act section of the Category Explanation Report application form and give it to the agent to submit.
When a Category Explanation Report (CER) application has been accepted, in most cases it is anticipated that you will receive your CER within 5 to 10 working days.
If you are satisfied with the Transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map categories applied to your land, you do not need to apply for a Category Explanation Report or a Landholder Initiated Map Review.

Landholder initiated map review

You can authorise an agent, consultant or other person to submit applications on your behalf. To do this, complete the Agent’s Authority to Act section on the Landholder Initiated Map Review application form and give it to the agent to submit.

Your map review application must include proof of identification, and proof of land ownership or direct association with the landholding such as:

  • driver licence or passport (proof of identification)
  • local government rate notice showing lot/DP numbers or a title search/certificate of title (proof of ownership)
  • lease agreements or other documents verifying your direct association to the landholding (proof of direct association with landholding).

Applicants need to provide information to support an application to review the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (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.

There is no fee for a Map Review.

To find out how to apply for a Map Review, go to our Regulatory map review webpage.

A Landholder Initiated Map Review (Map Review) can only be carried out for land that is owned, lawfully occupied (including leased) or managed by you. We will confirm your identification and your direct association with the land before processing the Map Review. As part of the Map Review application you can nominate to review the categories applicable to all or part of your landholding.

If you believe in force transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map categories applied to all or some of your land are incorrect, you can contact us to discuss your concerns or you can apply for a Landholder Initiated Map Review (Map Review) of in force categories. There is no fee for a Map Review. Before applying for a Map Review, it is recommended that you obtain a Category Explanation Report (CER) to give you more information about the categories applicable to your land; however, obtaining a CER is optional.

For more information about Map Reviews, see our Changing your land category fact sheet (PDF 1.5MB).

Some examples of circumstances where re-categorisation may be considered might include:

  • vulnerable riparian land where a watercourse has realigned over time or no longer contains riparian features
  • sensitive (old growth or rainforest) maybe re-categorised if reviewed at a property scale with high resolution ADS 3D imagery, as opposed to the older technology used to applying for a Map Review, it is recommended that you obtain a CER to give you more information about the greater scale
  • private native forestry property vegetation plans on sensitive land if the plan has expired
  • vulnerable steep or highly erodible land where the landholder provides relevant clinometer readings showing a slope of less than 18 degrees or if a property scale review is conducted.

If you are satisfied with the transitional NVR Map categories applied to your land, you do not need to apply for a CER or Map Review.

If you disagree with the Landholder Initiated Map review determination of the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory Map category for your land, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court. Appeals must be lodged within 90 days of the date on which you’re notified of the determination, or within 90 days of the date of deemed refusal, whichever is later.

Part 5A of the Local Land Service Act 2013 (LLS Act) and Regulation requires us to determine a Landholder Initiated Map Review application within 40 days of receipt of a completed application. The determination period pauses if the applicant is asked to provide further information within the first 25 days, and restarts when we receive the requested information. Applicants will receive progress updates throughout the review period.

According to the LLS Act, applications not determined within the 40-day period are automatically deemed refused. This allows the landholder to appeal to the Land and Environment Court. We will continue the review process and make a decision on the application after the 40-day period. We will notify you if this happens.

If a Landholder Initiated Map Review determines that the transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map categories of your land should be changed, you will receive a written determination and an updated NVR Map showing the changes. A determination to change the map categories of your land allows you to proceed with farm management activities that are allowable for the new categories under Part 5A of the Local Land Service Act 2013 (LLS Act) and Regulation. Changes to your land categories will appear on the publicly available online NVR Map when the next update is published.
If a Landholder Initiated Map Review determination shows the existing transitional Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map category applied to your land is correct, you will be notified of this outcome and no change will be made to the NVR Map.