When it comes to Native Vegetation (NV) clearing, there are a lot of guidelines and regulations in place. We understand it can often be confusing and complicated when trying to interpret how the regulations pertain to your specific circumstance.
Below are a list of some FAQs we get in relation to Native Vegetation clearing. Take a look through to see if your question is answered. And if not, please get in touch!
We are here to help, contact us
Can I clear Native Vegetation?
A planning permit is usually needed to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation (remove native vegetation) under Clause 52.17 of all Victorian planning schemes. However, there are some exemptions from this requirement. To understand the exceptions, visit environment.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation/native-vegetation
Frequently Asked Questions
Go to Planning Maps Online and search for your property by entering your address.
It’s free and it shows if you have an overlay.
Check the exemptions listed below but do contact Council for advice.
Stop! You must have consent, including Council’s consent (if it’s Public Land).
Contact the owner for consent, then check if you need a permit or are exempt.
Stop! You’ll need a permit to clear NV for internal fencing.
No worries, you don’t need a permit IF you have the neighbour’s consent and you’re clearing the minimum amount to construct your fence (must be less than 4 metres wide).
Go for it, Council don’t want branches falling on fences either, that’s how stock get on the roads. To cut the branches along the boundary line you don’t need a permit. Always cut the minimum.
Legally, you can only clear ‘the minimum’ to build your fence. 4 metres is the maximum total width you can clear to achieve this. So, if your neighbour allows you to clear 1 metre on their side, you have a maximum of 3 metres on your side.
Stop! You need a permit. Don’t risk a fine.
No. If you already have access to a boundary fence, you can’t clear anything else but you can trim off obstructions up to a metre over the fence line though.
You’ll definitely need a permit and you might have to buy off-set vegetation as well. Call Council.
If there are any other alternatives to locate your activities or development to avoid areas of native vegetation on your property then it is unlikely you’ll get a permit, but you can try. Consider changing the design of your activity or development to reduce the amount of native vegetation you’ll need to remove. NV should only be removed after all suitable alternatives to avoid removal have been considered and are not possible.
Fines over $100,000 are not unusual. You can be ordered to re-vegetate the illegally cleared land which makes the whole exercise pointless and expensive. These are State Government laws.
Proving these offences has become much easier; witnesses, anonymous tip-offs, civilian camera footage, high quality internet mapping data and satellite images are just some of the tools available. Authorised officers can also enter private property without a warrant.
If your neighbour does not wish to undertake clearing on their side of an existing boundary fence you can undertake four metres of clearing on your side of the fence.
Aboriginal scarred trees are protected by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2009 and a cultural heritage permit from the Department of Planning and Community Development is required prior to undertaking any action which may harm a scarred tree. This is the landowner’s responsibility. www.aboriginalaffairs.vic.gov.au.
Yes, you can cut down any introduced species unless they are heritage listed.
Only if it is dangerously unsafe. Many animals need dead logs and trees as habitat. Aussie Birds need upright, dead trees for nesting.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or visit www.depi.vic.gov.au