What are the protected flora controls?

The protected flora controls are set out in Division 2 of Part 5 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act).

It is an offence to take, trade in, keep, move or process protected flora without a permit, or unless authorised by Order of the Governor in Council published in the Government Gazette (GIC Order).

The FFG Act defines "take" to mean to kill, injure, disturb or collect.

The above obligation does not apply:

  • to a person who accidentally takes protected flora and who has exercised reasonable care not to take that flora
  • where flora was taken on private land (other than land which is part of the critical habitat for the flora) by a person who:
    • is the owner of the land
    • is leasing that land
    • has been given permission by the land owner or the lesseeand has not taken that flora for the purpose of sale or sold or offered that flora for sale
  • to a person who takes flora propagated from flora which has been lawfully obtained and kept
  • to a person who a member of a traditional owner group entity and is acting under and in accordance with an authorisation order under s. 82 of the Traditional Owner Settlements Act 2010.

NB. There are currently no critical habitat determinations.

What does protected flora mean?

Protected flora are

  • plants that are listed as threatened under section 10 of the FFG Act
  • plants that belong to communities that are listed as threatened under section 10 of the FFG Act
  • plants that have been declared to be protected under section 46 of the FFG Act. View or download the current protected flora list:

Protected Flora List (PDF, 113.4 KB)
Protected Flora List (Accessible version) (DOC, 90.5 KB)

A person may take, trade in, keep, move or process protected flora from private land except for:

  1. tree-ferns, grasstrees or sphagnum moss taken for the purpose of sale, or
  2. flora from a critical habitat. The Order also outlines the conditions for trading tree ferns and grass trees.

View or download the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (Taking, Trading In, Keeping, Moving and Processing Protected Flora) Order 2004 (PDF, 41.6 KB)

A person may take protected flora in State forest and Crown land where that taking is a result of, or incidental to, forest produce (including timber) harvesting operations or associated road works authorised under the Forests Act 1958 or timber harvesting operations authorised under the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004.

View or download the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (Forest Produce Harvesting) Order No. 2/2004 (PDF, 113.9 KB)

A person may take protected flora where extractive industry is the subject of an Environmental Effects Statement, where Ministerial consent has already been given for searching on restricted Crown land and extraction on any Crown land, and more generally, if certain conditions are met.

View or download the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (Extractive Industries Development) Order 1996 (PDF, 352.3 KB)

A person may take protected flora on private or Crown land as a result of works authorised by an Exploration or Mining licence issued under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 if certain conditions are met.

View or download the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (Mineral Resources Development) Order 1994 (PDF, 302.5 KB)

If you intend to handle protected flora, the protected flora controls apply to you (see above) and if the proposed handling has not been authorised by a GIC Order, you require a protected flora permit.

For example, the following require a protected flora permit.

  1. Taking protected flora from land that is not private land.
  2. Taking tree ferns, grasstrees or sphagnum moss from private or public land for the purpose of sale (where the tree ferns, grasstrees or sphagnum moss have not been propagated from flora which has been lawfully obtained and kept)

If there is any doubt as to whether or not a protected flora permit is required you should always check with us.

We regulate the handling  of protected flora Application forms can be obtained from our offices , by calling our Customer Service Centre on 136 186, or by downloading here .