New Biodiversity Legislation Changes
On the 17th November, 2016 the NSW Parliament passed the new Biodiversity Conservation Bill (2016) that will replace the Threatened Species Act (1995), the Nature Conservation Trust Act (2001), and part of the National Parks & Wildlife Act (1974).
Significant to landholders with Nature Conservation Trust of NSW (NCT) Trust Agreements (TAs) is Part 10 of the Bill which states: The Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) established under this Division is a continuation of, and the same legal entity as, the Nature Conservation Trust established under the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 immediately before the repeal of that Act by this Act.
The effect of this section is that the NCT will cease to exist and the new Biodiversity Conservation Trust will replace it as the legal entity establishing and managing private land conservation agreements in NSW. The Government is currently planning the transition arrangements which have been estimated to be completed by 1 July 2017.
The new Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has been established under the Bill as a not for profit entity that represents the Crown and which is subject to the direction of the Minister. This contrasts with the governance arrangements for the NCT which is a not for profit entity not representing the Crown. We do not anticipate that these changes will have any practical impacts on the status of the NCT’s existing conservation agreements with landholders, however further discussions with the Office of Environment & Heritage will be undertaken to confirm this.
As of the date of this notice we anticipate that the NCT will cease on the 30th June 2017, and become the Biodiversity Conservation Trust. However, we would like to stress that this will be subject to the Government’s timeline for transition.
We will do our utmost to keep landholders, partners, donors and other stakeholders abreast of these changes as they occur and when we have more substantive information relating to the transition we will publish a fresh written update.
For those interested in the full Biodiversity Conservation Bill detail and the associated cognate legislation the LLS Amendment Bill (2016), which replaces the Native Vegetation Act (2003), please click or copy the links below into a browser :
If you have any questions, we encourage putting your questions in writing to us at email@example.com with BCT in the subject line. You are always welcome to speak to your local NCT office by dialling 1300 330 717.