What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth including the different plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part.

Biodiversity contributes to the maintenance of essential ecological processes, and contributes to air and water quality, visual amenity, cultural identity and agricultural productivity. There are also important ethical, moral and economic reasons for conserving biodiversity.

Local Government's role

Local Government has an essential role to play in managing and planning for biodiversity. Councils can develop biodiversity strategies and plans, make changes to land use planning instruments to incorporate the protection of biodiversity and actively manage biodiversity through specific programs and projects.

LGNSW advocates to governments on behalf of our members - and assists our members with advice - on biodiversity matters.

View case studies on this topic.

NSW Biodiversity Reforms

The NSW Government has announced proposed reforms to land management and conservation in NSW.  These reforms implement the recommendations from the Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel and propose legislation to replace the Native Vegetation Act 2003, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

The proposed legislation will affect the way in which biodiversity is managed and protected across NSW.

The reform package includes drafts of the new Biodiversity Conservation Act and amended Local Land Services Act, and supporting material. All information is available on the NSW Government's Land Management website.

Key components of the reform include:

  • A new framework for managing native vegetation clearing
  • An enhanced and strategic approach to private land conservation and threatened species conservation
  • An expanded biodiversity offsetting scheme

Public submissions closed 28 June 2016. 

LGNSW's Submission to the NSW Land Management and Conservation Reforms (PDF, 432KB).

Consultation with local government on biodiversity reforms

During the consultation phase LGNSW invited all NSW councils to participate in a webinar held on Thursday 19 May where NSW Government staff briefed members on the reforms. View a recording of this webinar.

Technical workshops were delivered by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), supported by LGNSW with a focus on biodiversity offsets. These workshops were held across 10 locations, involving 215 participants from 75 councils.