What is required to clear vegetation as part of a major project?
To clear vegetation as part of a project of major social, economic or environmental significance, approvals under both the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and the Development Act 1993 are required.
What is the process?
As part of the assessment of a proposed development to which Section 48 of the Development Act applies, the Native Vegetation Council (NVC) will be provided with an environmental impact statement, public environment report or development report.
The NVC will comment within 8 weeks on the proposed development:
whether it avoids and minimises clearance a far as practicable
whether there are alternatives that involve no clearance, less clearance or clearance of vegetation that is less significant (or has been degraded to a greater extent) than the vegetation proposed to be cleared
to determine the Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) required to offset the impact of the clearance.
What approvals are needed?
Clearance can occur if development consent is granted under the Development Act 1993 and the provision of an SEB (on-ground or payment) is approved by the NVC. For an on-ground SEB, a Management Plan approved by the NVC is also required.