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Online application to clear native vegetation for a new dwelling or building

A dwelling or building is considered a structure that is permanently fixed to land so that it cannot be moved without dismantling or destroying it. This includes a transportable building that is connected to a sewage system or septic tank and is not moved after it is first connected.

The new dwelling, building or structure must be situated in a location that avoids and minimises the loss of native vegetation. Should your proposal not be located within an area that minimises vegetation clearance, you must demonstrate why these alternatives have not been considered.

All clearance associated with any new dwelling or building must be included in the application. This includes clearance for:

- a 10m buffer zone around dwellings/buildings (includes all native vegetation)

- For New Dwellings only a minimum 20m CFS buffer zone that includes all native vegetation except for large trees (2m circumference at 1m from ground level) between 10-20m from the dwelling. However, you must confirm with CFS as it may be a larger buffer in certain areas.

- water tanks

- driveways, including CFS turnaround areas

- cut and fill areas

- septic tanks

- landscaping

- verandas

Even if your dwelling is located in a cleared area, clearance associated with any of the works mentioned above, will require clearance approval.

Can I clear native vegetation to build a new dwelling or building?

Yes, provided approval is sought and obtained from the Native Vegetation Council (NVC).

Are there any restrictions?

What do I have to do?

  • Make sure that your proposed clearance is within the parameters of this activity.
  • Consider if there are other practical alternatives to clearing, including options that involve no clearing, or clearing vegetation that is less significant or more degraded.
  • Engage an accredited consultant.
  • Submit an application.

The NVC will assess the level of risk to biodiversity associated with your clearance proposal.

What are the levels of risk?

‘Low risk’ activity (Level 1 of the Risk Assessment)

Your proposed clearance will be considered low risk if it is for 500m2 or less of vegetation, or 5 or fewer scattered trees with a trunk circumference less than 50cm at 1 metre above the ground. Although in the pastoral areas of the state (i.e. Landscape Regions South Australia Arid Lands and Alinytjara Wilurara), the vegetation proposed to be cleared can be up to 3 hectares.

The consultant report will only need to include an online application identifying the:

  • measures taken to avoid and minimise the proposed clearance
  • regulation that applies to your situation
  • number and size of any scattered trees to be cleared
  • size of vegetation patch to be cleared
  • any previous clearance history
  • photographs of the site.

The NVC will assess the information against the Mitigation Hierarchy and the requirements of the regulation (you can see these in detail in the Native Vegetation Regulations 2017). If the NVC is satisfied, the NVC will issue an approval and a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) offset of $500 will be required.

‘Medium to high risk’ activity (Levels 2, 3, and 4 of the Risk Assessment)

If your proposed clearance does not meet the criteria for low risk (Level 1), the consultant will prepare a Data Report which must be submitted in addition to the information required for ‘low risk’ applications.

If any of the following escalating factors are identified in the risk assessment, the proposal will be automatically raised to the next level (i.e. 2, 3 or 4) of risk and an SEB offset will be required. If there:

What are my obligations if I am granted approval?

  • Undertake clearance within 2 years of approval being granted, unless otherwise specified.
  • Undertake clearance in compliance with any conditions, including an SEB, which are binding and enforceable against the person to whom the approval is granted as well as subsequent owners and occupiers of the land.

You can clear vegetation for a new dwelling or building and associated structure that has been approved under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

A building means a building, dwelling or structure that is permanently fixed to land so that it cannot be moved without dismantling or destroying it. This includes a transportable building if connected to a sewage system or a septic tank and then is not moved after it is first connected to that sewage system or septic tank.

The new dwelling, building or structure must be situated in a location that avoids and minimises the loss of native vegetation. You should be able to demonstrate that any alternatives have been considered, including areas that involve no vegetation clearance situated on a different part of the block or where the vegetation is less significant (or more degraded) than the vegetation proposed to be cleared.

Exclusions

You are not permitted to clear for this activity if you are:

  • clearing vegetation previously established as a condition of a consent for clearance or under regulation (including a condition in respect of clearance permitted under revoked regulations)
  • clearing in connection with a residential subdivision.

What if my activity doesn't fit this description?

If your proposed clearance does not meet the requirements of this regulation, or another regulation, you can submit a clearance application under Section 28 of the Native Vegetation Act 1991.

Contact

Native Vegetation Branch.