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Managing native vegetation
The Native Vegetation Act 2003 was enacted in December 2005 and introduced a new approach to managing native vegetation across NSW. The Act aims to prevent broadscale clearing unless it can be demonstrated that it will improve or maintain environmental outcomes. CMAs are responsible for applying the regulations of the Act and supporting landowners in managing native vegetation on their properties.
Review of the native vegetation regulation
On 13 September 2011, the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Robyn Parker MP, announced the commencement of the review of the regulations for the Native Vegetation Act 2003. This includes a review of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005, the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology (EOAM) and the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice (PNF Code). The Hunter Central Rivers CMA hosted public information sessions about the review in Gloucester, Maitland and Scone - download a summary of the feedback from these sessions. You'll find more information about the review of the native vegetation regulation here.
Property Vegetation Plans
If you are looking to manage native vegetation on your property you might consider having a Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) developed with the CMA. A PVP is a voluntary, legally binding agreement between a landholder and the CMA, which can provide a number of benefits, including:
- long-term security for landholders wanting to protect native vegetation for future generations;
- financial assistance for managing native vegetation on a particular property;
- the certainty of knowing what vegetation on a property is regrowth and will not require future clearing approvals;
- clarification on requirements under the NV Act of activities like rotational farming, grazing or cultivation practices;
- determination on clearing approval and offsets associated with the clearing.
Information on other private land conservation mechanisms is available on the websites of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water and the Kosciusko2Coast project.
Clearing native vegetation
Clearing remnant native vegetation or protected regrowth requires approval under the Native Vegetation Act, however there are some cases where clearing does not require approval. Specific restrictions apply to clearing on vulnerable and state-protected land.
If you are considering clearing native vegetation on your property, you are advised to contact your local CMA office first to determine whether approval is required. Where clearing does require approval, landholders may apply to the CMA for a Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) or make an application for Development Consent.
Information sheets on various aspects of the Native Vegetation Act (2003) and Regulation (2005) are also available from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) website.
Suspected illegal native vegetation clearing can be reported to DECCW by calling 131 555 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with as much information as you can provide.