RAMAs without self-assessable codes

Routine agricultural management activities

Routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) cover a wide range of day-to-day farming, safety and other activities where clearing of native vegetation does not require a property vegetation plan (PVP) under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 (the Act). The activities may, depending on the provision, be associated with agriculture or may be associated with other activities that take place in rural areas.

Clearing for the purposes of a RAMA does not require approval under the Act. However, any clearing for RAMAs must only be undertaken to the minimum extent necessary and for certain RAMAs other limits may also apply. You cannot clear for RAMAs in order to progressively clear land for a purpose outside the scope of the RAMA. All other required statutory approvals (for example, development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) must also be obtained before clearing for a work, building or structure.

RAMAs most relevant to landholders engaged in agricultural activity

RAMAs most relevant to landholders not engaged in agricultural activity

Public Infrastructure, utilities and service RAMAs

Other RAMAs

1. Rural infrastructure

The Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 (the Regulation) allows you to clear without approval for the construction, operation and maintenance of rural infrastructure, such as farm fences, dams, buildings (not permitted in the Coastal Region), windmills, bores, stockyards and farm roads.

A building, structure or work on land is only considered to be rural infrastructure if it is used for the purposes of, or in connection with, an agricultural activity or private native forestry (PNF) that is being carried out on the land.

The Regulation provides maximum buffer distances and clearing areas for certain rural infrastructure RAMAs depending on where the clearing occurs. The types of activities that can constitute rural infrastructure RAMAs in the Coastal Region, on small holdings and on land zoned rural-residential or large lot residential are limited to the construction, operation and maintenance of the types of infrastructure specifically listed in the Regulation.

2. Obtaining construction timber

Landholders can clear native vegetation for timber if it is cleared for the purpose of, and used in, the construction or maintenance of rural infrastructure on the same land.

Important environmental controls apply, including the requirements that the native vegetation to be cleared must not be a threatened species, a component of a threatened population or threatened ecological community, or be vegetation that is likely to be habitat for threatened species and the clearing must not cause land degradation (such as soil erosion or the expression of salinity).

This RAMA does not apply on land subject to a PNF PVP.

3. Control of pest animals

Native vegetation is permitted to be cleared without approval in order to meet an obligation arising under an eradication order or pest control order under Part 11 of the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998.

4. Noxious weeds

The clearing of native vegetation listed as noxious weeds under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 is a RAMA.

5. Planted native vegetation

This RAMA gives landholders the flexibility to clear planted native vegetation as needed to best manage their property. This includes native vegetation planted for commercial purposes. This RAMA does not apply to native vegetation planted with the help of funding granted to conserve biodiversity, improve water quality, reduce soil salinity, prevent land degradation, or sequester carbon.

6. Collection of firewood except for commercial purposes

The collection of firewood, other than for commercial purposes, is a RAMA.

7. Lopping of native vegetation for stock fodder

The lopping of native vegetation for stock fodder is a RAMA.

A Ministerial Order and user guides is currenlty being developed for declaring the clearing of mulga in the Western Division for stock fodder a RAMA.

8. Dwellings

The dwellings RAMA allows clearing for the purposes of constructing a dual occupancy, a dwelling house, a secondary dwelling, a semi-detached dwelling, or a rural worker’s dwelling as long as that clearing is done in accordance with development consent under the EP&A Act required for the clearing.

Clearing for development ancillary to these types of residential accommodations (such as building a swimming pool) is also a RAMA as long as it carried out in accordance with development consent under the EP&A Act.

9. Non-rural infrastructure

Not all residents in rural areas are involved in agricultural activities. The new non-rural infrastructure RAMAs allow rural landholders not engaged in agriculture to clear native vegetation for the construction, operation and maintenance of:

  • permanent boundary fences (only if the clearing is carried out within 6 metres of either side of the fence)
  • one shed no bigger than 100 square metres
  • access trails and tracks for the purpose of managing a landholding (only if the total width of clearing is not more than 6 metres).

This RAMA does not apply on land subject to a PNF PVP.

10. Crown land and council management infrastructure

The Crown land infrastructure RAMA allows an instrumentality of the Crown, a reserve trust or a council to carry out their land management activities without the need for a PVP or development consent under the Act. Activities that don’t need approval include the construction, operation and maintenance of roads, tracks, viewing platforms, signs and recreational facilitates (such as picnic and barbeque facilities).

Note that this RAMA does not cover clearing of native vegetation that is a threatened species, a component of a threatened population or threatened ecological community or likely to be habitat for a threatened species.

11. Other infrastructure works by councils

The council infrastructure works RAMA allows for councils to develop gravel pits and cemeteries provided:

  • the area of clearing for a cemetery is no more than 2 hectares
  • the area of clearing for gravel pits is no more than 5 hectares for land in the Western Division and 2 hectares for other land
  • councils revegetate the gravel pits following clearing
  • the native vegetation is not a threatened species or a component of a threatened population or threatened ecological community.

Most of the infrastructure works specifically identified as council infrastructure RAMAs under the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005 are not specifically identified in the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 because they are otherwise exempted under the Act or covered under the Crown land and council management infrastructure RAMA.

12. Maintenance of public utilities – electricity transmission

The clearing of native vegetation to maintain public utilities associated with the transmission of electricity is a RAMA and does not require approval. Certain conditions on maximum clearing distances and specific activities associated with the maintenance of electricity transmission facilities are applicable.

13. Privately owned power lines

The clearing of native vegetation for the construction, operation and maintenance of privately owned powerlines on privately owned land is a RAMA.

14. Maintenance of public utilities (water and gas)

The clearing of native vegetation to maintain public utilities (such as those associated with the supply of water and the supply of gas) is a RAMA.

15. Telecommunications infrastructure

The Regulation allows for clearing for telecommunications infrastructure without approval on private land as well as public land.

16. Conservation purposes

Those landholders who have entered into the following agreements do not require a PVP to clear native vegetation under and in accordance with those agreements:

  •  a conservation agreement under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
  • a biobanking or biodiversity certification agreement under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
  • a conservation agreement under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  • a trust agreement under the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001
  • a property agreement under the Native Vegetation Conservation Act 1997 in force at the time the clearing is carried out.

17. Clearing in accordance with a scientific licence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

The clearing of native vegetation is permitted under and in accordance with a scientific licence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

18. Traditional Aboriginal cultural activities

The clearing of native vegetation for traditional Aboriginal cultural activities (except commercial activities) is a RAMA.

19. Clearing to remove or reduce an imminent risk of personal injury or damage to property

The clearing of native vegetation considered reasonably necessary to remove or reduce an imminent risk of serious personal injury or damage to property is a RAMA.

Page last updated: 02 June 2014