A planning permit is required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation unless:

  • the removal is not regulated by the planning scheme
  • the planning scheme provides for the removal of native vegetation without a permit

A permit may not be required when:

  • the removal of native vegetation is the result of the continuation of a lawful existing use for the purposes of Section 6(3) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • there is an exemption to the requirement for a permit for the purposes of Clause 52.16 or 52.17 of the planning schemes
  • the native vegetation is listed in a schedule to Clause 52.17 within the relevant planning scheme.

This document provides guidance about the interpretation and application of the exemptions from requiring a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation in Clauses 52.16 and 52.17 of planning schemes.

Exemptions from requiring a planning permit to remove native vegetation - Guidance (PDF, 873.3 KB)

In September 2009, the Victorian government introduced the 10/30 rule for clearing of native vegetation around buildings used for accommodation. In implementing the recommendations of the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission, the 10/30 rule will remain in place and the 10/50 rule has been introduced in areas where the bushfire hazard is greatest as identified by the new Bushfire Management Overlay. This is in keeping with the Commission's view that the ability to remove vegetation for fire protection should be more closely aligned with risk.

Information to help determine whether the 10/30 rule or 10/50 rule applies to your property is included in the fact sheets below.

Making Victoria Fire Ready: 10/30 Rule, 10/50 Rule and fence line clearing factsheet - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 113.3 KB)

Making Victoria Fire Ready: 10/30 Rule, 10/50 Rule and fence line clearing (PDF, 103.4 KB)

In response to recommendations made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, an exemption is available under clause 52.17-6 of the Victoria Planning Provisions for road managers to remove native vegetation along roadsides without the requirement for a planning permit. The exemption provides for a broad range of fire mitigation treatments to be undertaken on roadsides to reduce threats to life and property from bushfires. The exemption is subject to an agreement to ensure that supporting documentation is provided by road managers. This includes a work plan.

The Roadside vegetation management for bushfire mitigation purposes - guideline for road managers has been prepared for road managers using the exemption.

Fire exemption for roadsides – fact sheet (PDF, 91.5 KB)

Roadside vegetation management for bushfire mitigation purposes guideline for road managers (PDF, 450.6 KB)

Terramatrix Pty Ltd has developed the Road Bushfire Risk Assessment Guideline to assist road managers in undertaking the risk assessment process as described in the Roadside vegetation management for bushfire mitigation purposes - guideline for road managers.

Road bushfire risk assessment guideline (PDF, 2.3 MB)

A template has been provided to assist road managers in the preparation of a work plan to meet the requirements of the agreement.

Template for roadside bushfire mitigation work plan (DOC, 63.5 KB)

More information

For more information, you can contact:

  • your local council planning department
  • our Customer Service Centre on 136 186
  • Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667

Exemptions within planning schemes may allow landholders to remove some native vegetation to construct or maintain boundary fences, without needing to get a planning permit. It is important to check with the planning department of your local council to confirm whether your proposed clearing is exempt before you undertake works on public land or remove native vegetation.

Before you can access public land to remove native vegetation on the public land side of your boundary fence, you must obtain written consent from the public land manager.

We acknowledge that there may be some cases where additional native vegetation removal is required for the maintenance of fences constructed to exclude wild dogs.

The following fact sheet provides information for landholders seeking consent for access public land managed by DELWP to remove native vegetation for the construction or maintenance of a boundary fence for wild dog management.

Remove native vegetation along a boundary fence for wild dog management facts sheet  (PDF, 99.6 KB)

It is also important to note that some native vegetation is protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. A permit to take protected flora from public land may also be needed if you are removing or lopping native vegetation on public land. Information about protected flora permits are available on or at your regional DELWP office.

Application form

To remove native vegetation for the construction or maintenance of a boundary fence for wild dog management, you must apply to the public land manager for consent.  Please complete and return the following application form where DELWP is the public land manager.

Remove vegetation along a boundary fence for wild dog management - application form
(PDF, 113.9 KB)

Public authorities and municipal councils have obligations to maintain the safe and efficient function of an existing road. This may require native vegetation removal to:

  • maintain roads and road related infrastructure,
  • complete safety and minor construction works along existing roads.

The purpose of the Road safety exemption is to enable public authorities and municipal councils to maintain the safe and efficient function of an existing road without needing to obtain a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation.  

To rely on the Road safety exemption, a public authorities or municipal councils must have written agreement from the Secretary to DELWP. The Secretary’s written agreement requires public authorities and municipal councils to comply with the Procedure to rely on the road safety exemption in planning schemes (DELWP 2018).

Procedure to rely on the road safety exemption in planning schemes (PDF, 525.4 KB)

This document sets out requirements that public authorities and municipal councils must follow when native vegetation is removed, destroyed or lopped for maintenance and some construction activities. Construction requirements include the delivery of offsets to address the no net loss to biodiversity objective of the native vegetation removal regulations.

Public authorities and municipal councils with written agreement to access the Road safety exemption (PDF, 99.9 KB)

This document lists the public authorities or municipal councils with written agreement to access the Road safety exemption.

Victorian public authorities or municipal councils can request the Secretary to DELWP’s written agreement by writing to nativevegetation.support@delwp.vic.gov.au

Rail managers have obligations to maintain the safe and efficient function of an existing railway or railway access road. This may require native vegetation removal to:

  • maintain railways and railway access tracks
  • complete minor construction works associated with rail infrastructure.

The purpose of the Railways exemption is to enable rail managers to maintain the safe and efficient function of an existing railway or railway access road without needing to obtain a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation.  

To rely on the Railways exemption, a rail manager must have written agreement from the Secretary to DELWP. The Secretary’s written agreement requires rail managers to comply with the Procedure to rely on the railways exemption in planning schemes (DELWP 2018).

Procedure to rely on the railways exemption in the planning schemes (PDF, 461.8 KB)

This document sets out requirements that rail managers must follow when native vegetation is removed, destroyed or lopped for maintenance and some construction activities. Construction requirements include the delivery of offsets to address the no net loss to biodiversity objective of the native vegetation removal regulations.

Rail managers with written agreement to access the Railways exemption (PDF, 183.1 KB)

This document lists the rail managers with written agreement to access the the Railways exemption.

Victorian rail managers can request the Secretary to DELWP’s written agreement by writing to nativevegetation.support@delwp.vic.gov.au

The purpose of this exemption is to remove the need for a permit for the removal of native vegetation for the maintenance or construction of minor utilities and utility installations. These are defined in Clause 73.03 Land Use Terms of all Victorian planning schemes.

The first part of this exemption allows for the maintenance of existing minor utility installation to the minimum extent necessary without needing a planning permit. However, to rely on the second part of this exemption for the maintenance and construction of utility installations, utility service providers must have the written agreement of the Secretary to DELWP. The Secretary’s written agreement will require compliance with a process that will ensure a no net loss to biodiversity. This process implements the Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation.

Written agreement must be obtained by sending a request to nativevegetation.support@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Water utilities exemption – procedure for the removal, destruction or lopping is currently being developed. Once finalised it will be published here, along with a list of the water corporations that have written agreement to access it.

The Electricity utilities exemption – procedure for the removal, destruction or lopping is currently being developed. Once finalised it will be published here, along with a list of the electricity distribution providers that have written agreement to access it.

DELWP and Parks Victoria have obligations to manage Crown land and may have to remove native vegetation to:

  • conserve and protect Victoria’s biodiversity
  • reduce the threat of bushfire to communities.

The purpose of the Crown land exemption is to enable DELWP and Parks Victoria to manage Crown land without needing to obtain a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation.

To rely on the Crown land exemption, DELWP and Parks Victoria must comply with the Secretary approved Procedure for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation on Crown land – For use by DELWP and PV (May 2018).

Procedure for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation on Crown land  (PDF, 1.3 MB)

This document sets out procedures for native vegetation removal and counterbalancing activity to address the no net loss to biodiversity objective of the native vegetation removal regulations.

If you would like an accessible version of any published document, please contact nativevegetation.support@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 13/05/19