Land management and biodiversity reforms
In 2017, the NSW Government implemented the Land Management and Biodiversity Conservation reform package (the reforms), which included the new Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and amendments to the Local Land Services Act 2013.
Prior to legislation being passed, a policy review trigger was set for when clearing approvals reached an annualised threshold figure of 20,000 hectares, measured in any six-month period, to initiate a review of the policy framework (including legislative, regulatory and financial settings). This policy review trigger was reached in October 2018.
In January 2019, the Premier provided a Terms of Reference for us to provide independent, evidence-based advice on a response to the policy review trigger for the Land Management and Biodiversity Conservation reforms being reached in October 2018.
In July 2019, we provided a final report to Government, covering:
- the appropriateness of the current trigger
- the proposed improved triggers and the current status of trigger thresholds
- monitoring, evaluation and reporting indicators for measuring environmental, social and economic outcomes
- emerging issues from available data
- opportunities to improve service delivery and risk mitigation.
In March 2020, the NSW Government provided its response to our recommendations, supporting most of the recommendations.