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Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code overview

The Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018 (the Code) provides landholders with more choices to better manage native vegetation on their property. The Code  helps you to improve agricultural productivity and biodiversity outcomes across NSW and supports you to use best practice land management activities.

The Land Management Code:

  • is simple to use
  • improves agricultural productivity
  • includes important environmental protections
  • provides certainty and clarity for the landholder.

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Code options for landholders

The Code supports landholders undertaking productive and sustainable farming practices, while managing environmental risk.

The Code enables the following clearing on Category 2 - regulated land:

Invasive Native Species - Allows you to remove invasive native species that have reached unnatural densities and dominate an area. These activities are to promote the regeneration and regrowth of native vegetation.

Pasture expansion - Enables you to the remove woody native vegetation by uniform or mosaic thinning to promote native pastures and increase farm efficiency and productivity.

Continuing use - Enables you to continue lawful land management activities that have been in place between 1990 and the commencement of the new Land Management Framework in August 2017.

Equity - Enables you to remove paddock trees, compromised native groundcover, and native vegetation from small areas in exchange for set aside areas containing remnant vegetation.

Farm plan - Enables you to remove paddock tree areas and clear regulated rural land in exchange for set aside areas containing remnant vegetation or set aside areas where revegetation will be required.

Additional considerations

You may be required to notify Local Land Services for low impact land management activities.

Activities with a high risk of adversely impacting on the environment may require certification by Local Land Services.

Set asides

In some cases, the Code may require the establishment of a set aside in exchange for the removal of native vegetation. A set aside is an area set aside for the purposes of conservation.

Set asides are listed on a public register and must be actively managed to promote vegetation integrity in perpetuity.

The Code outlines the extent of clearing possible and any set-aside requirements to offset the environmental impacts of clearing.

Set aside ratios identify how much land must be set aside in exchange for clearing in another area of the property. All set-asides must be managed along with any current publicly funded initiative, offset or existing set-aside and will run with land in perpetuity.

Set-aside certificates may include details such as the type of vegetation contained in the set-aside areas. Landholders are required to undertake reasonable efforts to promote vegetation integrity in the set-aside area.

Local Land Services works with landholders on a case-by-case basis to identify the management interventions likely to deliver the best environmental outcomes in a set-aside area.

Treatment of threatened ecological communities

The Land Management Code does not authorise the clearing of native vegetation that is part of a critically endangered ecological community (CEEC).

Where clearing is proposed under the Equity Part for a vulnerable ecological community (VEC) or endangered ecological community (EEC) the offset must be of the same VEC or EEC.

Clearing an EEC or VEC incurs a set aside loading of 50 per cent for VEC and 100 per cent for an EEC.

The Code also provides a discount of 50 per cent on the set aside requirements for landholders willing to set aside areas containing an EEC.

Land on which the Code does not apply

There are categories of land where clearing under the Land Management Code is not permitted, including coastal wetlands, old growth forests, littoral rainforests, core koala habitat and critically endangered ecological communities.

On commencement, three categories of land will be available on OEH’s mapping portal:

  1. Vulnerable regulated land
  2. Sensitive regulated land
  3. Excluded land.

Limited application of the codes apply in the following circumstances:

  • vulnerable land and riparian buffer zones
  • areas containing threatened species
  • small holdings
  • landholders with low levels of remnant vegetation.

More information

To find out more about native vegetation and your options under the Land Management Framework:

  • contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299
  • email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au
  • go to lls.nsw.gov.au/slm
  • call in to your nearest Local Land Services office and ask for a Sustainable Land Management officer.

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