What is protected flora?

Protected flora is native plants or communities of native plants that have legal protection under the FFG Act.

The protected flora list includes plants from three sources:

  • Plant taxa (species, subspecies or varieties) listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988;
  • Plant taxa belonging to communities listed as threatened under the FFG Act; and
  • Plant taxa which are not threatened but require protection for other reasons. For example, some species which are attractive or highly sought after, such as orchids and grass trees, are protected so that the removal of these species from the wild can be controlled.

Swainsona reticulata

For all listed species, protection includes living (eg. flowers, seeds, shoots and roots) and non-living (e.g. bark, leaves and other litter) plant material.

Click below for the current list:
Protected flora list (PDF, 621.5 KB)
Protected flora list (DOC, 93.0 KB)

Under the FFG Act, there are offences and authorisations known as ‘controls’ relating to protected flora.

The FFG Act specifies that 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 (GIC Order) published in the Government Gazette.

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 lessee and 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 is a member of a Traditional Owner group entity and is acting under and in accordance with a Natural Resource Agreement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

There are currently 4 Orders which authorise the taking of protected flora subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Orders - see below:

Authority to trade in, keep, move and process protected flora and conditions of trading

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.

Authority to take protected flora associated with timber or other forest produce harvesting

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.

Authority to take protected flora associated with extractive industry

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.

Authority to take protected flora associated with mineral resources development

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.

Applying for a protected flora permit

If you intend to handle protected flora, then the protected flora controls apply to you.  If the proposed handling has not been authorised by a GIC Order, you will require a protected flora permit.

For example, the following activities 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, contact us for further advice.

Authorisations under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Application for Permit to Take Protected Flora  (PDF, 104.2 KB)
Application for Permit to Take Protected Flora (DOCX, 278.7 KB)

Application for Tags to be Fixed to Imported or Cultivated Tree-Ferns or Grasstrees  (PDF, 106.3 KB)
Application for Tags to be Fixed to Imported or Cultivated Tree-Ferns or Grasstrees  (DOCX, 434.9 KB)

Authorisations under the National Parks Act 1975

Application for a Permit to Conduct Research in National Parks (PDF, 97.2 KB)
Application for a Permit to Conduct Research in National Parks  (DOCX, 270.3 KB)

If you require assistance with completing these forms, please contact us.

Overview of listed fish

In Victoria, the taking, trading in and keeping of fish listed on the Threatened List is regulated under both the Fisheries Act 1995 and the FFG Act.

Under section 52 of the FFG Act, it is an offence to take, trade in or keep listed fish without a licence or unless authorised by Order published in the Government Gazette. The FFG (Taking, Trading in or Keeping of Listed Fish) Order No. 1/2020 authorises the taking, trading in and keeping of several species of listed fish, subject to terms and conditions. Restrictions may apply to the size and number of fish that can be caught, location, time of year and method of take, to ensure the level of take is sustainable. The Order permits the taking of the following listed fish in accordance with the conditions set out in the Order:

Flat-headed Gudgeon or Bull-headed Gudgeon (Philypnodongrandiceps)

Freshwater Catfish (Tandanus tandanus)

Golden Perch (Macquaria ambigua)

Macquarie Perch (Macquaria australasica)

Murray Cod(Maccullochella peelii)

Murray Spiny Freshwater Crayfish (Euastacus armatus)

Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)

Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)

Trout Cod (Maccullochella macquariensis)

Western Carp Gudgeon (Hypseleotris kluzingeri)

Applying for a listed fish permit

If you wish to conduct research on protected fish outside of the conditions of the FFG Order, you will require a Listed Fish permit.

Authorisations under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Application for Permit to Conduct Research on Listed Fish (PDF, 96.7 KB)
Application for Permit to Conduct Research on Listed Fish (accessible)(DOCX, 274.7 KB)

Authorisations under the National Parks Act 1975

Application for a Permit to Conduct Research in National Parks (PDF, 97.2 KB)
Application for a Permit to Conduct Research in National Parks (accessible) (DOCX, 270.3 KB)

If you require assistance with completing these forms, please contact us.

Page last updated: 02/03/20