Clearance activities with a potentially high or unknown level of risk of doing irreversible damage to biodiversity are required to undergo a risk assessment.

Applications in this pathway require NVC approval and the delivery of a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) offset.

The aim is to ensure that approval processes are consistent with the Objects of the Native Vegetation Act 1991 (the Act) and are defensible, transparent and at a level commensurate with the level of risk.

Activities in this pathway

What is the process?

There are four levels of risk, depending on the significance of the vegetation proposed to be cleared. Level 1 poses a very low risk to biodiversity, and Level 4 poses a high risk to biodiversity.

To assess the level of risk of a proposal, the NVC considers the:

  • size of the clearance (area of clearance or number of trees to be cleared)
  • presence of threatened species or communities (representing three of the ‘Principles of Clearance’ from the Act).

Criteria for assessing and approving applications are shown in the risk assessment fact sheet. The information that must be provided by the proponent, level of oversight, and obligations imposed, are proportionate to the likely impact on biodiversity of the clearance.

Through this process, we can ensure the majority of our efforts are placed on activities that pose a high or medium risk to native vegetation.