Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegetation management

Here in Queensland there are numerous layers of legislation that affect what you can and can't do with vegetation on your property. This is particularly relevant for people with native vegetation (that hasn't been planted) or a large amount of land.

The Federal or Commonwealth government regulates vegetation through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. On the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website there is a search tool called the "protected matters search tool". This allows you to determine what protected ecosystems or vegetation communities do or might occur on your property. If you are going to have a significant impact on the vegetation community on your property, through its removal or by a particular activity, you need to "refer" your activity to this department for their consideration and potential conditioning or control of your activity.

The State government, in this instance Queensland, has several pieces of legislation protecting vegetation that occurs naturally on your block of land. This includes:

  • Vegetation Management Act 1999
  • Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995
  • Fisheries Act 1994
  • Water Act 2000
  • Nature Conservation Act 1992
  • Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 
  • Wild Rivers Act 2005
  • Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993

Each of these pieces of State legislation are either managed by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) or the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. Their websites have useful information about permits, approvals and exemptions which are relevant to all of these pieces of legislation. And in the case of DERM you can seek mapping from their website for regulated vegetation (remnant and regulated regrowth) on your property.

Your relevant local Council may also have information within their planning schemes outlining areas of vegetation protection, as well as local laws either protecting significant individual trees or all native vegetation. Information on these matters are best sought directly from your Council, as these vary widely across the State. Pin It

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