NSW is transitioning to a new way of managing and assessment proposals to clear native vegetation. The aim of the reforms is to enable effective agricultural land management and facilitate ecologically sustainable development outcomes. It is a risk based approach which encourages landholders to avoid and minimise any potential impacts on biodiversity. Impacts that cannot be avoided are required to be offset.
Crown Land Reform
The Crown Land Management Act 2016 (CLM Act) commenced on 1 July 2018, introducing a consolidated, modern piece of legislation to govern the management of Crown land in NSW.
In 2021, the Crown Land Management Amendment (Plan of Management) Regulation 2021 (CLM Regulation 2021) removed a requirement for councils to complete Plans of Management by 1 July 2021. This change is aimed to provide councils greater flexibility in the development of Plans of Management for Crown reserves.
The CLM Act falls within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey, and is administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands (DPIE – Crown Lands).
DPIE – Crown Lands continues to be the key contact for councils on broader aspects of the reforms including native title, the Land Negotiation Program, the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund and Crown Roads.