The NSW Government has implemented a whole-of-government policy framework for the management of apiary sites on public lands, including State forests, travelling stock reserves and National Parks.
The new approach has streamlined administrative arrangements and support industry growth and development by providing:
NSW DPI has led development of the new policy in consultation with industry and the key agencies responsible for the sites - Forestry Corporation of NSW, Local Land Services, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The draft framework was released for public consultation from May to June 2017. A summary of feedback received is available in this Consultation Report (PDF, 631.94 KB).
The framework is being implemented progressively through 2018 and 2019. A pilot of the EOI process was held in July 2018 and a second EOI was launched in January 2019. Future EOI's will be published on the EOI process webpage.
The policy framework will deliver multiple benefits to industry, including:
Permit term & renewals
Apiary Site Support Desk
Standard permit conditions
Permits that were issued before 1 October 2016 will transition to the new framework as they fall due for renewal and subject to the new annual site fee. Permit holders will have a grace period of 12 months to ensure they have completed the necessary training and/or documentation to meet the compliance and usage test. To see what is required, visit the expression of interest pilot page.
Sites that became vacant on or after 1 October 2016 and were issued as an ‘interim permit’ will be renewed for a further 12 month period and subject to the new annual site fee. These permits will eventually be put through a competitive allocation process via EOI.
The new framework is now in place.
The following areas of work were completed:
Ensuring that users of public apiary sites adopt strong biosecurity practice is critical to protecting all users of public apiary sites. In accordance with NSW Government’s whole of government apiary policy framework an apiarist’s biosecurity history will be assessed when an apiarist applies to renew a permit or license to use public apiary sites.
Apiarists who apply to renew apiary permits or licenses and have received a biosecurity penalty notice or prosecution in the last five years or are identified by DPI Biosecurity as having a significant biosecurity action pending will need to demonstrate their ability to meet their legal requirements for biosecurity compliance before they can be granted a further five year term.
They may be granted a 12 month license or permit extension provided they:
The authorised biosecurity officer will evaluate the actions taken to ensure compliance. If successful, the apiarist will be able to renew their permit or license for a further 5 year period. If unsuccessful the renewal application will be declined and any hives will need to be removed from affected sites. The sites will be reallocated via an Expression of Interest process to other apiarists.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of apiary sites used by commercial apiarists in NSW are on public lands. The key agencies responsible for managing these sites are Forestry Corporation of NSW, Local Land Services and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Each agency was applying a different system for site allocation, pricing, permit tenure and conditions. This created administrative burdens and uncertainty for industry.
In response to these concerns, DPI led the development of a whole-of-government policy framework for the management of apiary sites on public lands. The framework has been developed in consultation with relevant agencies, the NSW Apiarists’ Association and individual beekeepers across the State.
The framework will streamline regulatory arrangements by establishing a standard procedure for allocation of sites, pricing, permit tenure and conditions. While individual permits will continue to be issued under the legislative framework of the relevant land manager, agencies will work together to streamline administrative procedures.