Native vegetation removal regulations
The native vegetation removal regulations have recently been reviewed and changes have been made. Details are provided on the Review of the native vegetation clearing regulations 2015-2017 page.
Native vegetation provides habitat for plants and animals and delivers a range of ecosystem services that make land more productive and contribute to human well-being.
In Victoria, a permit is usually required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation. These regulations are known as the native vegetation removal regulations and are primarily implemented through local council planning schemes.
Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation (the Guidelines) outline how native vegetation removal is assessed and offset. The Guidelines are an incorporated document in all Victorian planning schemes.
Preparing an application to remove native vegetation
The application requirements for an application to remove native vegetation depend on the application’s assessment pathway. There are three assessment pathways, Basic, Intermediate and Detailed.
The assessment pathway is determined by the amount of native vegetation to be removed (in hectares), whether any large trees are to be removed, and the location of the native vegetation in the landscape.
The Native Vegetation Information Management (NVIM) tool assists in preparing an application to remove native vegetation.
The Applicant’s guide – applications to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation helps permit applicants to prepare an application to remove native vegetation.
Lodging an application to remove native vegetation
Applications for a permit to remove native vegetation must be lodged with the relevant responsible authority, which is usually the local council. In addition to the application requirements for the native vegetation removal regulations, further information may be required by the local planning scheme.
The Assessor’s handbook – applications to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation (Assessor’s handbook) provides information and guidance to assist local government and DELWP when assessing applications to remove native vegetation.
Some applications to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation are required to be referred to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to provide a recommendation. All other applications are assessed solely by the local council.