Negotiating a PVP
A Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) is a voluntary, legally binding agreement between a landholder and their local Catchment Management Authority (CMA). Contact your local CMA to negotiate a PVP. A CMA officer will arrange an on-site visit to discuss your proposal and help prepare the plan. There are no costs to a landholder to prepare a PVP and your CMA will supply most of the information you need. See Info Sheet 8 (nvinfosheet8.pdf, 219KB) for more details on how a PVP is assessed.
The time it takes to prepare a PVP depends upon the type of PVP you're applying for, the size and nature of the site and the complexity of any negotiated management actions. Your local CMA can estimate the time required once you contact it to discuss your plans. You will need to provide your local CMA with ownership and property details of the land, along with details of your proposal. You or your authorised representatives need to accompany the CMA officer on the property so that the plan can be prepared together.
Clearing provisions included in a PVP last up to 15 years, giving landholders assurance for farm planning and investment. Agreed management actions linked to offsets and incentives may continue for a longer period, including in perpetuity. PVPs that do not include clearing can last for any time agreed to by the landholder and CMA.
Once agreed by the landholder, approved by the CMA and signed by both parties, a PVP is a legally binding agreement under both the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The terms of a PVP will not be affected by any changes to local or state planning rules or new listings of threatened species, but may be terminated by the Minister if the terms of the agreement are breached. A PVP can also be varied at the landholder's request, provided the variation will still improve or maintain environmental outcomes.
Because PVPs are agreements that affect the land, it is essential that they apply to the land, despite any change of landholder, that is, that they 'run with the land'. In order to ensure that PVPs are binding on successors in title, an abstract of the PVP must be registered with the Land and Property Management Authority under the Real Property Act 1900. This requirement is similar to all other types of agreements about land which bind successors in title. The register is the central place where any person (e.g. prospective purchasers) can look to find out what interests affect the land. If a PVP is not registered on title under the current provisions of the NV Act then legally it may not bind future landholders.
Varying a PVP
A landholder can apply at any time to change a Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) if, for example, they are intending to modify farming practices. Other reasons for varying a PVP may include changes to the assessment tools, or amendments to the underlying legislation. The new agreement must still pass the 'improve or maintain environmental outcomes' test. For more information on modifying a PVP, contact your local Catchment Management Authority (CMA).
Continuing use PVPs
Continuing Use PVPs provide landholders with certainty that existing land uses can continue.
A Continuing Use PVP can be used to:
- identify native vegetation on the land as regrowth
- identify routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) that are to be carried out on the land
- identify practices as existing cultivation, grazing or rotational farming
- specify a date for the purposes of the definition of regrowth
- continue existing farming or other rural practices (but not so as to authorise broadscale clearing)
The nature of the available site information will determine whether an on-site inspection is necessary for a PVP that certifies continuing use. For more information contact your nearest Catchment Management Authority (CMA) office.
PVPs to change the regrowth date
All native vegetation that has regrown since 1 January 1990 (or 1 January 1983 in the Western Division) is regrowth. Regrowth does not include native vegetation that has regrown after:
- unlawful clearing of remnant vegetation, or
- bushfires, floods, drought or other natural events that cause the clearing of remnant vegetation.
Approval is not required to clear any non-protected regrowth when it has:
- been legally cleared, and
- regrown after the regrowth date.
The presence of post 1990/83 regrowth in one particular vegetation layer does not mean that all native vegetation on site or all native vegetation in a certain layer can be cleared without approval. Approval is required to clear any native vegetation that was present in any layer prior to the regrowth date. This includes native groundcover.
Clause 10 of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 allows landholders to change the regrowth date through an approved Property Vegetation Plan (PVP). The new date has to be based on existing rotational farming practices where the land has been cleared twice since 1950 (1943 in the Western Division). In addition the PVP must include a requirement that the regrowth may only be cleared in a manner consistent with the existing rotational farming practices.
There is no set pro-forma for required evidence and Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) can develop their own procedures and criteria. For more information contact your nearest CMA.
Page last updated: 14 June 2013