Clearing and offsetting

Note: We recommend that you submit applications at least 10 weeks before you require a decision.

Report a suspected illegal clearance

If you want to clear or remove native vegetation you need to comply with certain requirements (such as following guidelines) or apply for approval. If you already know you need to apply, go to the application forms.

Clearance that may require approval

Native vegetation in most parts of South Australia (except parts of metropolitan Adelaide) is protected by the Native Vegetation Act 1991. See our maps to find out where the Act does and doesn't apply.

Approval to remove vegetation does not give you consent under other Acts. The Native Vegetation Council encourages you to also consider if activities could impact sites of indigenous significance. Please refer to the Department of State Development's Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation for further information.

Click on the relevant activity below for step-by-step instructions:

Buildings and structures



Safety and fire


You may need to seek approval or meet certain requirements to:

  • cut down, burn, poison or remove plants
  • remove branches, limbs, stems or trunks
  • slash understorey
  • drain and reclaim wetlands
  • burn native vegetation
  • change grazing practices
  • carry out any other activity likely cause damage to native vegetation.

Policies guiding SEB offsetting and conditions for clearing 

When applying to clear native vegetation, you may need to provide a significant environmental benefit (SEB) offset. This is required to compensate for the impacts of an approved clearance activity. 

Please refer to the following guidelines and policies:

Contact us

Enquiries should be directed to your local Natural Resources Centre. They can give you general advice and direction.

If you have submitted an application, or are seeking follow up information, please contact DEWNR's Native Vegetation Management Unit on (+61 8) 8303 9777 or

Native vegetation approved clearance infographic