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 if it is connected to a sewage system or septic tank and is not moved after it's 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 the area that minimises vegetation clearance, you must demonstrate why these alternatives have not been considered.
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?
- You cannot clear for this purpose on Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement land.
- You cannot clear without development approval under the Development Act 1993.
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.
- 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. Although in the pastoral areas of the state (i.e. NRM Regions South Australian Arid Lands and Alinytjara), the vegetation proposed to be cleared can be up to 3 hectares.
You will need to provide the following to the NVC:
- an online application identifying the
- regulation that applies to your situation
- measures taken to avoid and minimise the proposed clearance
- 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), you will be required to engage an Accredited Consultant to undertake a vegetation assessment of the proposed clearance area. 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 Development Act 1993.
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.
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.
Native Vegetation Branch.