Data and reports

The Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 were repealed on 25 August 2017. For information on the new arrangements for managing native vegetation, visit the Land Management website.

The NSW Woody Vegetation Change 2017-18 spreadsheet (XLSX 175KB) presents information on woody vegetation change to 2017-18. Data gathered in 2017-18 shows information on land clearing under the Native Vegetation Act and the land management and biodiversity conservation framework, which commenced in August 2017. The spreadsheet provides information on the rates of woody vegetation change for forestry land use by change and management practice, as well as information on other clearing for 2017-18.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) will continue to report on land cover change. The Biodiversity Conservation Trust is responsible for reporting on conservation on private land. Local Land Services is responsible for reporting on land management authorisations and approvals.

Historical data for the period 2016-17 is available in the NSW Native Vegetation 2016-17 data spreadsheet (XLSX 472KB). This dataset combines 4 data themes relating to native vegetation management in New South Wales. These are Native Vegetation, Private Native Forestry, Woody Change and Compliance and Enforcement. The data spreadsheet contains all available historical data including data from SPOT/Sentinel and Landsat.

The Native Vegetation 2016-17 data spreadsheet provides information on the conservation, restoration, management and approvals for clearing native vegetation across New South Wales prior to the commencement of the land management and biodiversity conservation framework.

Key statistics from 2016-17 show that around 122,300 hectares of native vegetation were conserved or improved across the state. About 3400 hectares were approved to be legally cleared where environmental values were maintained or improved through mechanisms such as the use of offsets over the same period. Refer to tabs 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the data spreadsheet for more information.

The Private Native Forest data shows information on land managed under Private Native Forest (PNF) Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs). Nearly 38,200 hectares of land were approved during 2016-17 to be managed under PNF PVPs. Refer to tab 5 of the data spreadsheet for more information.

The NSW Woody Vegetation Change data covers losses in woody vegetation due to clearing for agriculture, forestry and infrastructure activities. The total reduction in woody vegetation in New South Wales from these activities during 2016-17 was 59,700 hectares or 0.07% of the area of New South Wales. The data also includes losses in woody vegetation resulting from bushfires. However, the data does not identify gains in woody vegetation due to planting and natural regrowth. Refer to tabs 6 to 9, and tabs 12 to 22 of the data spreadsheet for more information.

As of 1 July 2019, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are responsible for implementing a credible compliance and enforcement framework to protect the environmental values of native vegetation and ensure that landholders who comply with the law are not disadvantaged.

DPIE and EPA undertake this role through stakeholder engagement, strategic investigations, appropriate enforcement actions and targeted compliance campaigns. The Compliance and Enforcement data provides information on OEH compliance and enforcement activities. The EPA's activities are included in the PNF data. Refer to tabs 10, 11 and 23 of the data spreadsheet for more information.

The data for 2016-17 demonstrates that extensive areas of native vegetation were being actively managed and conserved by farmers and rural landholders who understand the value in conserving remnant vegetation.

Previous versions of data and reports are available at the bottom of this webpage.

Information on the satellite imagery used to generate the woody change data

The data includes historical Landsat data from 1998 to 2011 and more recent SPOT/Sentinel data from 2009 to 2018. The data provides woody change data as detected by Landsat and SPOT/Sentinel at the local government (LGA), local land service (LLS), catchment management authority (CMA), and interim biogeographic regionalisation of Australia (IBRA) region level. Woody change data detected by SPOT/Sentinel in relation to Keith Vegetation Formations is also provided.

The data does not distinguish between approved, permitted, exempt or illegal clearing under the repealed Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Woody vegetation change data is derived from analysis of satellite images using the Statewide Landcover and Tree Survey (SLATS) Methodology and used to report against several national and statewide programs.

In analysing the data provided, it is important to realise the following:

  • Woody vegetation changes do not consider regrowth or replantings.
  • The figures do not distinguish between approved, permitted, exempt or illegal clearing under the repealed Native Vegetation Act 2003.
  • Since clearing authorised in one year may not happen in that year, clearing rates and PVP approvals data cannot be aligned.

Woody vegetation change measurements from Landsat and SPOT/Sentinel imagery are not directly comparable due to the different resolution of the sensors. When analysing trends in woody vegetation change SPOT/Sentinel and Landsat measurements should not be directly compared. The report A Comparison of Woody change Mapping based on SPOT 5 and Landsat TM Imagery using 2010-2011 Imagery (PDF 1.3MB) provides further information. A similar report on the comparison between SPOT5 and Sentinel2 imagery is being prepared.

Woody vegetation extent

Woody vegetation extent differs slightly as a measure of vegetation from woody vegetation change. Woody vegetation extent measures Foliage Projective Cover (FPC) which is used across many Australian vegetation classification frameworks. For this data, FPC refers to the vertically projected percentage cover of photosynthetic foliage from tree and shrub life forms only.

The distribution of woody FPC by catchment management authority and IBRA region are published in the spreadsheets below. The counts of woody vegetation for each FPC value were derived from the Landsat woody extent and FPC v2.1 2008 product. The cell value in the spreadsheets is FPC plus 100, e.g. 110 represents an FPC of 10. The cell size is 25m x 25m. These data are reported here as part of the Natural Resource Commission's auditing of the state's commitments to natural resource management embedded in the State Plan.

More information on this and other spatial data products can be found on the Ancillary Vegetation Products: Data Inventory page.

The woody vegetation extent data and FPC 2008 product is published below for each IBRA and CMA region in New South Wales as Excel spreadsheets. It is reported here as part of the Natural Resource Commission's auditing of the state's commitments to natural resource management embedded in the State Plan.

Click on the CMA region below to download the data for that region:

Border Rivers – Gwydir CMA

(XLS 25KB)

Central West CMA

(XLS 25KB)

Hawkesbury-Nepean CMA

(XLS 25KB) 

Hunter Central Rivers CMA

(XLS 25KB)

Lachlan CMA

(XLS 25KB)

Lower Murray-Darling CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Murray CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Murrumbidgee CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Namoi CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Northern Rivers CMA

(XLS, 17KB)

Southern Rivers CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Sydney Metropolitan CMA

(XLS 17KB)

Western CMA

(XLS 17KB)

   

Click on IBRA region below to download the data for that region:

Australian Alps

(XLS 17KB)

Brigalow Belt - South

(XLS, 25KB)

Broken Hill Complex

(XLS, 25KB) 

Channel Country

(XLS 17KB)

Cobar Peneplain

(XLS 25KB)

Darling Riverine Plains

(XLS 25KB)

Mulga Lands

(XLS 25KB)

Murray Darling Depression

(XLS 25KB)

Nandewar 

(XLS 25KB)

New England Tablelands

(XLS 25KB)

NSW North Coast

(XLS 25KB)

NSW South Western Slopes

(XLS 26KB)

Riverina

(XLS 25KB)

Simpson - Strzelecki Dunefields

(XLS 25KB)

South East Corner 

(XLS 25KB)

South Eastern Highlands*

(XLS 25KB)

Southern Eastern Queensland

(XLS 25KB)

Sydney Basin 

(XLS 25KB)

 *Please note the South Eastern Highlands IBRA region file does not include land within the Australian Capital Territory.

Previous reports

Page last updated: 27 June 2019