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Application form to protect native vegetation

If you are a South Australian private landholder and want to protect your important bushland, you may want to enter into a Heritage Agreement.

Heritage Agreements are helping to maintain important ecosystems in South Australia. Since the scheme was introduced in 1980, more than 2,800 landholders have agreed to ensure the long-term protection of over 1 million hectares of the state’s native vegetation.

What is a Heritage Agreement?

A Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement is a conservation area on private land, established between the landholder and the Minister for Environment and Water on recommendation of the Native Vegetation Council (NVC). The NVC is an advisory body established under the Native Vegetation Act 1991, and the Minister may not enter into, vary or terminate a Heritage Agreement without first consulting with and obtaining the approval of the NVC.

A Heritage Agreement is a conservation area within private land that contributes to protecting and/or restoring indigenous biodiversity. 

Heritage Agreements are established in perpetuity to protect and enhance the natural character of the flora and fauna. Many unique features are found within privately-owned land, and can often form part of an important wildlife corridor, provide an extension to National or Conservation Parks, or help establish private sanctuaries.

Each Heritage Agreement, while bound by standard conditions, is unique and can include clauses specific to the management of the native vegetation within the conservation area.

Any change in ownership or lease to the property that contains the Heritage Agreement area must be noted to the Native Vegetation Branch. Regardless of lease, transfer or sale, the Heritage Agreement remains binding on the property title holder at that time.

For Heritage Agreements entered into voluntarily by a landholder, the NVC will meet the costs associated with the negotiation, assessment, drafting  and registering of the Heritage Agreement. Land protected by a Heritage Agreement provides an important accompaniment to the State's natural character. As such, land under the Heritage Agreement is valued differently as a recognition of its conservation status. 

Properties identified in the Agreement or Registered Plan as Heritage Agreement areas can receive a reduced valuation and subsequent reduction in particular rates and taxes. The reduction is based on property valuations made by the State Valuation Office and varies between properties across the State. 

How to apply

  • Enquiries can be made through a Regional Officer at your local Natural Resources Centre in the first instance as they can provide general advice and direction whether your site is suitable as a Heritage Agreement conservation area.
  • Queries relating to existing applications or current Heritage Agreements can be made via the Native Vegetation Branch.

Send your completed application form to:

Native Vegetation Branch
Department for Environment and Water
GPO Box 1047
Adelaide SA 5001

NOTE: Applications can take 6-12 months to finalise depending on the complexity of the Agreement, and whether other agencies need to be involved in the assessment and application process.

Currently there are a number of applications in the assessment and processing stage, but please don't let that stop you from submitting an application.

Contact us

Enquiries should be directed to your local Natural Resources Centre. They can give you general advice and direction.

If you have submitted an application, or are seeking follow up information, please contact the department's Native Vegetation Branch on (+61 8) 8303 9777 or submit an online enquiry.

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