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Topics > Native vegetation > Clearing Native Vegetation

Impact assessed / Major projects

What is an Impact assessed / Major project?

Major projects are set out in the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and are now called Impact assessed developments. These developments are of major social, economic or environmental significance and are declared by the Minister for Planning and must go through a rigorous, state-run assessment process.

What is required to clear vegetation as part of a major project?

To clear vegetation as part of a major project or impact assessed development, approvals under both the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and the Development Act 1993 or the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 are required.

What is the process?

As part of the assessment of a proposed development, the Native Vegetation Council (NVC) will be provided with an environmental impact statement, public environment report or development report.

The NVC will provide comment within 8 weeks to the planning authority 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 or the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 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.

For further information on how major projects are assessed, visit the PlanSA website and view the State Planning Commission's Native Vegetation Fact Sheet.

To access information and the final report of the South Australian Productivity Commission's (SAPC) review into the Development Referrals process in South Australia, visit the SAPC website for further information.


Native Vegetation Branch.