Removal of native vegetation
What is native vegetation?
Native vegetation provides habitat for plants and animals and delivers a range of ecosystem benefits that make land more productive and contribute to human wellbeing. Native vegetation refers to all plants that are indigenous to Victoria, including trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses. It does not include plants that originate from other parts of Australia or from other countries.
When do I need a permit?
A permit is usually required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation as determined by Victoria’s statewide policy in relation to assessing and compensating for the removal of native vegetation. In Benalla Rural City these regulations are implemented through the Benalla Planning Scheme. The 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.
In applying the Guidelines, there are three key steps for land managers and owners to address when considering vegetation clearing:
- Avoid the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation;
- Minimise impacts from the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation that cannot be avoided; and
- Provide an offset to compensate for the biodiversity impact from the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation.
There are number of exemptions where you don’t need a permit. There are also several Vegetation Protection Overlays within Benalla Rural City which place additional protection on native vegetation. It is your responsibility to find out whether you require a planning permit. It is best to check with our Planning Department to determine whether you need a permit before commencing any works.
The following links provide further information:
Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation
Farming and native vegetation
In addition to the requirements of the Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation, other legislation may apply to native vegetation including the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.