Farming & Private Land Management - EDO NSW

Farming & Private Land Management

EDO NSW has produced a number of resources relevant to farming and private land management

EDO NSW undertakes law reform work relevant to farming and private land management. Read our submissions below.

EDO NSW represents individuals and community groups in public interest litigation to protect the environment. Read about our past cases relevant to farming and private land management.

Our Fact Sheets on this topic include conservation on private land, BioBanking, and biodiversity assessments.

See current opportunities for law reform in this area at Have Your Say about decisions relevant to farming and private land management.


Independent review of interactions between the EPBC Act and the agriculture sector - EDOs of Australia submission

June 2018 - Download submission

In summary, there is no evidence that the EPBC Act places an undue regulatory burden on landholders. The data in fact suggests that significant land clearing is actually an under-regulated area of national laws, due to a low number of referrals and the even lower number of actual federal assessments required to date. This submission makes some practical recommendations to help landholders understand how the EPBC Act works and comply with obligations that may only occasionally apply; and for improved mapping, environmental accounts and data.

EDO NSW submission on the Explanation of Intended Effect for a new State Environmental Planning Policy on Primary Production and Rural Development (proposed SEPP)

January 2018 - Download this submission

The Department of Planning and Environment’s proposal would revise and consolidate five rural and agricultural SEPPs into one Primary Production and Rural Development SEPP. 

EDO NSW sees the in-principle benefits in ensuring planning controls are up-to-date, accessible and effective. In doing so it is also important that environmental protections and community engagement are maintained and improved, consistent with the aims of planning and environmental legislation.

Part 1 of this submission considers some important issues upfront that are not dealt with, or fully dealt with, in the Explanation of Intended Effect:
- two guiding principles – on maintaining environmental protections and community engagement, and transparency in SEPP reviews and outcomes;
- how the reforms will affect land use on Environmental zones (E-zones); and
- the need for closer regulation and best practice guidance for intensive plant agriculture (such as berry farming).

Part 2 comments on the proposed new Primary Production and Rural Development SEPP.

Part 3 comments on proposed amendments to other planning instruments and regulations and draft guidelines for intensive livestock agriculture.

Link to this page.

Draft Crown Land Regulation 2017 - EDO NSW submission

September 2017 - Download our submission

NSW communities value their Crown lands in many different ways – culturally, environmentally, socially and economically. This submission comments on draft Regulations to underpin the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (NSW). Together the Act and Regulations will regulate the future management, use and potential transfer or sale of a diverse range of publicly owned land in NSW.

Part A of this submission makes high-level comments on:

  • what is and is not addressed in the draft Regulation
  • how key concepts could be applied and strengthened (such as community engagement strategies and Crown land rules and principles) and
  • how the reform package fits together and interacts with other in-progress reforms.

Part B comments on the details of the draft Regulation including:

  • the use, management and transfer of ownership (vesting) of Crown lands, and
  • improvements to governance, transparency and environmental protection.

Link to this submission's page.

NSW Travelling Stock Reserves Review 2017 - EDO NSW submission

July 2017 - Download submission

The Travelling Stock Reserves (TSR) network is a unique public asset that connects rural economies, biodiversity and cultural heritage. In this submission, we make 13 key recommendations about how the management of NSW’s TSRs can be improved.

We welcome the NSW Government’s aim to improve the evidence base on Travelling Stock Reserves uses and values. In our view, the natural environment should be protected and enhanced for the ‘ecosystem services’ that the landscape provides to our culture, lives and livelihoods, and also for its intrinsic value.

Link to this submission’s page.

NSW biodiversity and land management laws: Draft regulations and products on public exhibition – EDO NSW submission

June 2017 – Download all submissions combined

This group of submissions makes over 200 recommendations on the regulations and other instruments that are being implemented to support the NSW Government's biodiversity and land clearing law reform package passed in 2016.

EDO NSW raised a number of key concerns that were not addressed in the 2016 changes. While it is not possible to fix the deficiencies in the laws now they have been passed, the current round of consultations presents an opportunity to insert some protections, procedural safeguards and transparency into the subordinate instruments.

You can download all nine submissions combined, including an executive summary, or read each component separately:

Draft Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017

Draft Local Land Services Amendment Regulation 2017

Draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Biodiversity Conservation) Regulation 2017

Explanation of Intended Effect for the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation) 2017

Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code

Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM)

Accreditation Scheme for the Application of the Biodiversity Assessment Method

Serious and irreversible impacts guidance

Offsets payment calculator


 Link to the page for these submissions.

NSW Biodiversity Law Reform Package 2016 - EDO NSW submissions

June 2016

Submission on the draft Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 - Download PDF

Submission on the draft Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016 - Download PDF

Technical submission on the Biodiversity Assessment Method and Mapping Method 2016 - Download PDF

Technical submission on the draft Offsets Payment Calculator - Download PDF

Find out more about the reform package, including EDO NSW blogs and workshop slides.

EDO NSW has been making recommendations for strong biodiversity, native vegetation and land management laws since 1995. We were heavily involved in the development of the current Native Vegetation Act between 2002 and 2005. 

We met with the Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel during their deliberations and produced A Legal Assessment of NSW Biodiversity Legislation to assist the panel. We engaged with representatives of the Office of Environment & Heritage, Department of Primary Industries and Department of Planning during targeted stakeholder consultations prior to the public exhibition process. We raised a number of key concerns and made recommendations in these meetings based on our extensive expertise in NSW environmental law.

Unfortunately none of these fundamental concerns or recommendations were addressed in the package developed for public consultation. 

These submissions detail our conclusion that the proposed laws are a retrograde step for NSW biodiversity and land management. While the proposed investment private land conservation is welcome, once this money runs out, we will be left with weak laws that offer no real protection for our unique threatened species and ecological communities and will facilitate ongoing decline in biodiversity. Consequently, we cannot support the proposed package.

Through a series of workshops, seminars and forums, we have spoken to local communities, Landcare members, Local Land Services officers, local councils, ecological consultants, private land conservation agreement holders, Aboriginal people, conservationists, wildlife carers, and private individuals through our advice line. Areas covered include: Hunter, Greater Sydney, North Coast, Northern Tablelands, South East and Central West. We discussed concerns with over 600 people. With the exception of representatives of the NSW Farmers Association, no-one we spoke to told us the proposed laws were an improvement on current laws, and almost all participants were seriously concerned at the implications of the new regime for biodiversity.

Submission on the Review of the Natural Resources Commission Act 2003

February 2016 - Download PDF

In our submission, EDO NSW supports a strengthened, independent scientific body to assess and audit natural resource management in NSW. This will be crucial as changes to native vegetation, biodiversity and coastal management laws are developed and implemented.

EDO NSW submission on the Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency Program (COFFIE Program)

10 December 2015 - Download PDF

Our submission sought clarification regarding two important legal issues:

  • How the COFFIE program will deliver the ‘enhanced environmental outcomes’ for the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth required under the Water Act
  • The nature of the water licences acquired through the COFFIE Program, and whether these licences would be able to deliver 'enhanced environmental outcomes.’ 

EDO NSW submission on Local Land Services Draft State and Local Strategic Plans

20 November 2015 - Download PDF

Our submission makes three key recommendations

  1. Local Land Services (LLS) Strategic Plans should not be finalised until the full suite of LLS responsibilities has been clarified, given the significant changes that have been foreshadowed in relation to native vegetation and biodiversity legislation in NSW. Alternatively, the Strategic Plans should build in a formal review process when a new Biodiversity Conservation Act is passed.

  2. Strategies and performance indicators should be made ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

  3. The Strategic Plans should better articulate the clear role of LLS in ensuring compliance with environmental and natural resource management legislation.

Regulation of Agriculture: Productivity Commission Issues Paper - EDOs of Australia submission

February 2015 – Download PDF

See also:

Submission to the Productivity Commission on its Regulation of Agriculture: Draft Report

August 2016 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice

21 July 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on EP&A Amendments (Mining and Petroleum) 2014 and the Mining SEPP

July 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on Draft NSW - Commonwealth Bilateral Approval Agreement

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Northern Councils Environmental Zones Review

June 2014 - Download PDF

Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2014

June 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Draft Landholder Guides and Draft Orders to implement self-assessable codes under the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013

May 2014 - Download PDF

Draft Terms of Reference for a Threatened Species Commissioner (Commonwealth)

April 2014 - Download PDF

Review of the Weed Management in NSW – Draft Report

4 April 2014 - Download PDF

Submission regarding the Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Removing re-approval and re-registration) Bill 2013

7 March 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO submission on the EPBC Act Koala Referral Guidelines

7 February 2014 - Download PDF

Submission on the Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme

7 February 2014 - Download PDF

ANEDO Submission on Better Regulation of Agricultural & Veterinary Chemicals Discussion Paper

4 February 2011 - Download PDF

Review of the Gene Technology Act 2000

15 July 2005 - Download PDF 

Submission to the NSW Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management Inquiry into disincentives for ecologically sustainable land and water use in NSW

19 May 2005 - Download PDF

ANEDO Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy

20 November 2009 - Download PDF

briefing notes
discussion papers