NSW Biodiversity Legislation Review 2016 Background - EDO NSW

NSW Biodiversity Legislation Review 2016 Background

The NSW Government is considering a major change to our biodiversity laws, and is calling for community input into these significant reforms. To find out how you can get involved and have your say, go to our main biodiversity legislation review page. Below, you’ll find detailed information about the reforms and the work that we have done over the years to advance the laws that protect biodiversity.

What is in the reform package?

The reform package contains a number of key elements:

  • Biodiversity Conservation Bill - This will replace the: Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001, and parts of the National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974
  • Local land Services Amendment Bill - This will replace the Native Vegetation Act 2003, Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 and the Environmental Outcomes
  • Assessment Methodology
  • Self assessable land clearing codes
  • Biodiversity Assessment Method – a single tool to assess impacts
  • Land use map – which identifies excluded, regulated and unregulated land
  • Priority Investment Strategy and funding package
  • Continued Saving our Species approach to threatened species
  • Risk based licensing for wildlife interactions

If you're having trouble navigating information on the Government's consultation page, below is a handy list of links to help you.

Draft Bills


Fact sheets (two page summaries)

Submissions guides (detailed explanatory material)

Important: Make sure you've checked out our web page dedicated to the reforms, to view resources on these important changes to our biodiversity protections and find out how you can get involved. 


The process leading up to the proposed reforms

An independent review of the legislative framework for threatened species and native vegetation management in New South Wales was launched in June 2014 by the NSW Government Minister for the Environment. The review covered:

  • the Native Vegetation Act 2003
  • the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
  • the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 and
  • parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 relating to private land conservation and native animal and plant management.

The Independent Expert Review Panel of biodiversity laws delivered its final report to the Minister for the Environment in December 2014. The Panel’s Issues Paper dealt with six themes:

  • Objects and principles for biodiversity conservation
  • Conservation action (legal requirements for action to recover threatened species, address threats, and provisions to support conservation)
  • Conservation in land use planning (how land use planning decisions deal with biodiversity issues)
  • Conservation in development approval processes (including land clearing for agricultural production, major projects and site-by-site development  assessment)
  • Wildlife management (licensing, management and offences under the National Parks and Wildlife Act)
  • Information provisions (legislative provisions and other programs that generate information and knowledge about biodiversity – e.g. data accessibility, listing processes etc.)


EDO NSW resources

EDO NSW has undertaken a great deal of work to defend the environment and advance the laws that protect biodiversity. Check out our resources at our biodiversity  legislation review page.