Native Vegetation Regulations & Clearing 

Native vegetation is protected under the Environmental Protection Act (1986). 

All clearing of native vegetation is prohibited unless a clearing permit is granted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, or the clearing is for an exempt purpose, as defined under the Act or the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004. Clearing of native vegetation also includes the collection of firewood, flower picking, seed collection and removal of dead or dying vegetation.  

 For more information Native Vegetation Clearing

These Regulations apply across Shire managed and privately owned lands and does not differentiate between living and dead vegetation, with old mature trees offering habitat, even if dead. There are large penalties for illegal clearing, with anyone able to report it to the Department. 

The Shire does not have the authority to give approval to undertake clearing of native vegetation, with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) being the authority in this regard. Responsibility for obtaining any necessary permits from DWER or identifying any applicable permit exemptions rest solely with the landowner and persons undertaking the clearing.  

It is the Shires understanding that an exemption exists under the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 for the purpose of providing access to construct or maintain a fence, however confirmation and compliance is the responsibility of landowner and persons undertaking the clearing. 

  • Clearing cannot be undertaken any further than 1.5m from the property boundary and must only be to the extent necessary to maintain or construct the fence. The Shire encourages landowners to make every reasonable effort to minimise the clearing performed and to consider planting native vegetation on non-arable land (i.e., not suitable for farming) within their property as an offset. 
  • Shire land must be left in a tidy and levelled state in accordance with the areas original condition as a minimum. 
  • All cleared vegetation must be removed from Shire land unless approval to the contrary is given. 
  • The landowner is responsible for identifying any infrastructure that may be affected and for taking the necessary measures to ensure no damage occurs. The landowner is responsible for any costs that may result from the clearing activity. 

The Shire is not responsible for, and will not undertake, clearing of trees within the verge for private infrastructure construction or maintenance. 

Certain plants pose a huge threat to our natural ecosystems, native flora and fauna, and agriculture. For this reason, the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) regulates mechanisms, programs and activities to prevent and minimise the impact of pests and diseases upon agriculture and environment. 

When is a plant a declared weed and what can you do with it? 

It is illegal to transport plants that are declared pests off a property. Doing so carries a penalty of up to $20,000 and if it is a high impact organism a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 12 months. 

Blackberry is one of the most well-known declared pests in our region, but others include: 

  • Bridal Creeper 
  • One and two leaf cape tulip 
  • Paterson’s curse 
  • Cleavers 
  • Common prickly pear 
  • Narrow leaf cotton bush 
  • Variegated Thistle 
  • Apple of Sodom 
  • Arum Lily 
  • Pokeweed 

As it is illegal to transport any of these declared pests off a property, we are unable to accept them at the tip and people presenting with them will be turned away. We also want to remind you not to place these in your kerbside general waste bin.  Instead, you will need to destroy on your property.

For information on how to identify and control these pests, please refer to this website  AGRIC website