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Land management

Allowable activities

Land owners can continue to clear native vegetation when undertaking every-day land management activities, such as environmental protection works, collection of firewood, building and operating rural infrastructure, such as fence-lines, dams, sheds and tracks.

Allowable activities give land owners the opportunity to continue to operate many routine aspects of their properties without the need to seek approvals.

For more information:

Land management (native vegetation) code

The new land management (native vegetation) code supports landowners to manage their land and ensure more productive farming methods and systems while responding to environmental risks. The code allows greater flexibility for landowners to make the right decisions about land use on their properties.

The code applies to all rural lands throughout NSW and is divided into five parts. Each part provides practical directions on what vegetation can and cannot be cleared, how much clearing is permitted and under what circumstances.

The five parts of the code are:

  1. Invasive native species - enables the removal of invasive native species that have reached unnatural densities and dominate an area. These activities are to promote the regeneration and regrowth of native vegetation.
  2. Pasture expansion - enables the removal of woody native vegetation by uniform or mosaic thinning to promote native pastures and increase farm efficiency and productivity.
  3. Continuing use - enables the continuation of lawful land management activities that had been in place between 1990 and the commencement of the new arrangements.
  4. Equity - enables the removal of paddock trees, compromised native groundcover, and native vegetation from small areas in exchange for set aside areas containing remnant vegetation.
  5. Farm plan - enables the removal of paddock tree areas and clearing regulated rural land in exchange for set aside areas containing remnant vegetation or set aside areas where revegetation will be required.

Depending on the extent of your proposed clearing under the code, before you commence you will either need to notify Local Land Services or seek their certification.

The code does not apply on some sensitive land types including critically endangered habitat. In the coastal zone, you can only apply the code if your primary land use is agricultural.

If you would like assistance to determine if using the code is right for your circumstances then speak to a member of the Local Land Services team or arrange a visit to your property.

More information about the parts of the code and how it can be applied are provided in the following fact sheets:

The native vegetation regulatory map

A new Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) Map is being developed that shows rural land where clearing of native vegetation can occur without approval (category 1 (exempt) land) and rural land where clearing requires approval (category 2 (regulated) land).

The exempt and regulated layers of the NVR Map will not come into effect until stakeholders are satisfied it is accurate.

Three layers, showing sensitive areas and vulnerable land and excluded land, will apply from commencement on 25 August 2017.

Transition period

While the NVR is being finalised, landowners will be responsible for determining the categorisation of their land, in accordance with the Local Land Services Act 2013.

A fact sheet to assist landholders undertake this process is available. If you would like assistance with this process, speak to a member of the Local Land Services team or arrange a visit to your property.

For more information:

The native vegetation panel

In some instances proposals, for clearing don’t fall within allowable activities or the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code.

In July 2018 a new Native Vegetation Panel was established to determine the conditions that will enable landholders to offset the impacts of clearing in these areas.

It is an independent panel of experts in

  • planning
  • social assessment
  • ecology
  • economics
  • agricultural economics
  • agricultural land production systems
  • government and public administration.

An approval process by the new Native Vegetation Panel will enable landholders to use biodiversity credits (from a biodiversity offset site) to offset the biodiversity impacts of developing their land for agriculture.

This pathway is also available for landholders if they do not wish to have a set-aside, where required, established on their property.

For more information: