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The Land Management Framework and the Monaro and Werriwa Cool Temperate Grassy Woodlands critically endangered ecological communities

This fact sheet provides guidance for landholders regarding the listing of the Monaro and Werriwa Cool Temperate Grassy Woodlands as critically endangered ecological communities (CEECs). It is designed to help you understand if remnants occur on your land and what land management options are available to you.

Background

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) has determined to list two grassy woodlands as critically endangered ecological communities (CEECs) under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016:

  • Monaro Tableland Cool Temperate Grassy Woodland in the South Eastern Highlands Bioregion
  • Werriwa Tableland Cool Temperate Grassy Woodland in the South Eastern Highlands and South East Corner Bioregions.

The TSSC is an independent statutory committee established under the Biodiversity Conservation Act, comprised of scientists
appointed by the Minister for Energy and Environment.

What do these cool temperate grassy woodlands look like?


Both the Monaro and Werriwa CEECs are woodlands characterised by a sparse to very sparse layer of trees – predominantly Snow Gum. The community may include Black Sallee, Ribbon Gum, Candlebark or Blackwood as co-dominants or sub-dominants and other tree species as sub-dominants.

The ground layer is typically dominated by native grasses, such as kangaroo grass and snow grasses, however a wide range of other grasses and native wildflowers are frequently encountered.

A detailed description of the two new CEECs can be found here:

Monaro Tableland Cool Temperate Grassy Woodland
Werriwa Tableland Cool Temperate Grassy Woodland

How do I know if my land has the CEECs?

These woodlands generally occur between Crookwell and the Victorian border, between the Snowy Mountains and the ACT in the West and the edge of the high plains to the East.

The two woodlands can occur together; however it is not necessary for landholders to be able to tell them apart.

Both can occur on valley floors, however remnants on lower to midslopes are more common. They are most commonly recognised by their characteristic Snow Gums, often in association with other cool-climate eucalypts. Note though, that even if all the trees have been removed, it is still the community if the understorey is predominantly native.

You can also check the online Werriwa/Monaro CEEC Advisory layer for location information. This layer is only a guide and examples may occur outside of this map, so if you think there is the possibility that you may have remnants of these woodlands, contact the Local Land Services who will do an on-ground assessment for you. We can then give you advice on your land management options.

What options do I have under the Land Management Framework?

Usually, activities under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018 are not permitted on land containing CEECs, regardless of their condition. A limited range of Allowable Activities under the Local Land Services Act 2013, including sustainable grazing practices, are permitted on land containing CEECs.

Because the newly listed CEECs occur in productive areas that may require ongoing management in an agricultural context, the NSW Government has developed an approach to balance flexible land management, while conserving good condition areas of these two CEECs.

Under these new arrangements, you can undertake activities under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code in an area where the two specific CEECs (Monaro/Werriwa) are found, but only if the area is assessed on-ground by Local Land Services as being in low condition and non-viable in the long term.

This assessment will be based on guidelines developed by the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.

You cannot undertake code activities on areas assessed as being good condition CEEC.

You can also undertake a limited range of Allowable Activities within these two CEECs (the same list as currently applies to vulnerable and sensitive regulated land), including sustainable grazing practices, fencing, farm access tracks and water, telecommunications and gas infrastructure. You can find more about allowable activities here.

Areas of good quality CEEC can be used as a set aside for Code use on other parts of your property.

There may be opportunities for landholders to obtain financial support for managing biodiversity, such as entering into Conservation Agreements with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust 

What if I inadvertently clear these CEECs?

If you think you may be affected by the listing of these CEECs, we strongly advise you to contact Local Land Services for advice
before undertaking land management activities in order to avoid non-compliant activities.

A compliance response may be considered in circumstances where land management activities have been unlawfully undertaken on land where CEECs are present.

Where can I get help? 

For more information please contact us on 1300 778 080, email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au or contact your friendly Local Land Service experts at your nearest office and ask for a Sustainable Land Management officer.

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