In 2005, the NSW Government introduced the Native Vegetation Act 2003, (NV Act) to end broadscale land clearing across the state.

Clearing is defined as cutting down, felling, thinning, logging, removing, killing, destroying, poisoning, ringbarking, uprooting or burning native vegetation.

Clearing therefore includes, for example:

  • any type of ploughing that kills native groundcover
  • the under-scrubbing of native forests
  • herbicide spray drift that kills or destroys native vegetation, or
  • thinning of native woodlands.

Under the NV Act, all clearing requires approval through either a Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) or a Development Consent, unless it is: (i) on land that is excluded from the NV Act; (ii) categorised as excluded clearing; or (iii) a permitted clearing activity.

Activities such as pruning, lopping or slashing of native groundcover, that do not kill the native vegetation, are not considered clearing. Burning that does not kill native vegetation or substantially reduce the composition and proportion of native species may not be considered as clearing, check with your local Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

Except for the commercial collection of firewood, the removal of dead timber is not considered clearing under the NV Act.

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Page last updated: 12 September 2012