The Native Vegetation Panel is an independent agency established under Part 5A, Division 6 of the Local Land Services Act 2013.
The Native Vegetation Panel has the function of objectively determining applications to clear native vegetation.
The Native Vegetation Panel operates independently of other government departments, including Local Land Services, and has an important role to play in building community confidence in the decision-making processes for applications to clear native vegetation state-wide.
There are two legislative pathways that can direct a landholder to the Native Vegetation Panel. These are:
- Part 5A, Division 6 of the Local Land Services Act 2013 (in rural areas); and
- Chapter 2 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021 (B&C SEPP) (in non-rural areas).
Applications to clear native vegetation considered by the Native Vegetation Panel must not require authorisation under other legislation pursuant to section 60O of the Local Land Services Act 2013.
Within rural areas, the Panel’s role is to determine applications to clear native vegetation that are not authorised by Allowable Activities (Part 5A, Division 4 of the Local Land Services Act 2013) or the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018 (Part 5A, Division 5 of the Local Land Services Act 2013).
Within non-rural areas, the Panel’s key role is to determine applications to clear native vegetation which exceed the Biodiversity Offset Scheme Threshold*.
*Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Threshold means the biodiversity offsets scheme threshold referred to in section 7.4 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, except the threshold is to be determined without regard to clause 7.3 (4) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.