Draft NSW Biodiversity Strategy

29 November 2010

The NSW Government has placed its Draft NSW Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2015 on public exhibition, with submissions due by 21 January 2011.

The draft document sets out a goal that, by 2015, “regional land-use planning processes are informed by landscape-scale biodiversity assessment and contain provisions that contribute to the protection of biodiversity”. This would involve more local councils seeking “biodiversity certification” for proposed local environmental plans. When granted, such certification can exempt proponents from any further need to undertake threatened species assessments.

As part of this proposal, Landscape high conservation value areas will be identified and incorporated into “catchment action plans” and considered in regional land-use planning processes (such as rezonings).

The draft strategy adopts one of the Urban Taskforce earlier submissions, by agreeing that (in future) federal strategic assessments should be undertaken concurrently with biodiversity certification processes where matters of national environmental significance may be impacted on by proposed urban growth. This helps avoid a repetition of the current problem in Western Sydney, where the state biodiversity certification was granted in 2007, but the strategic assessment for the federal equivalent only got underway in 2009, and is still continuing.

More information is available here.