NSW Biodiversity Reforms to Commence on 25 August 2017

The draft Regulations to support the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 were released on 10 May. They are on exhibition for 6 weeks, submissions due 21 June. Also included in the package are the revised Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM) – including the offset rules; accreditation scheme for Assessors; draft Sensitive Biodiversity Values Land map; guidance document on Serious and Irreversible Impacts; and the draft fund calculator. A range of other documents are also provided that relate to the Native Vegetation Code and regulations to support modifications to the Local Land Services Act and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

The draft Biodiversity Conservation regulations and supporting material contain much of the critical information needed for proponents to understand how their project will be affected by the new legislation. Umwelt will be reviewing these documents and providing advice to our clients over coming weeks, in the lead up to the commencement of the Act and the BAM in mid-2017. Umwelt will also be running a breakfast seminar in the next few weeks to help our clients understand the changes afoot.

We also understood that the roll-out of Assessor Accreditation (and reaccreditation) has been delayed, and will not commence until the latter part of 2017. Umwelt already has a large team of 9 Accredited Assessors who are already applying the draft BAM approach to a number of sites. We are in touch with the changes and have been involved in various expert capacities advising OEH (expert panels) and numerous industry clients.

Contact Travis Peake on 02 4950 5322 or at biobanking@umwelt.com.au to determine how we can assist in relation to the Biodiversity Reforms.

The latest Biodiversity Reforms package can be found at https://www.landmanagement.nsw.gov.au/