How to apply for a plant licence

Are you aware of upcoming changes to wildlife licensing?


The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 is scheduled to commence from 25 August 2017.

Existing wildlife licence classes, conditions and fees will remain in place after the Act begins.

Proposed changes to wildlife licensing under the new Act will be exhibited for public comment in the second half of 2017. These changes are expected to be taken up during 2018.

Learn more about the wildlife licensing reforms.

You need a biodiversity conservation licence under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) to pick and sell protected plant parts for sale.

Three types of biodiversity conservation licences for cut-flower harvest are available under the Protected and Threatened Plants in the cut-flower industry: sustainable management plan 2013-2017 (CFMP):

  • Picker licences
  • Wild harvester licences
  • Grower licences

All licence application forms should be submitted to the local NPWS area office for assessment. A period of 45 days should be allowed for processing of applications.

Definitions

Some important definitions that you should be familiar with:

  • In all of the licences, picking a plant includes gather, take, cut, remove from the ground, destroy, poison, crush or injure the plant or any part of the plant.
  • A site is defined as a single property held under individual title, or a specific parcel of land managed by a public authority. Each state forest is considered a separate property/site. 
  • A roadside picking site is defined as a 5km stretch of road.

What type of licence do I need?

If you are not sure which type of biodiversity conservation licence you will need, answer the simple questions below and follow the links.

Question 1.

The cut-flower material or plant foliage that I intend to harvest for sale comes from:

a) Naturally occurring “wild” plants growing on my property or other land.  If “YES” GO to Question 2, if “NO” go to part (b) below.


b) Plants that I have grown from seed, cuttings, nursery stock, or other sources and have established as an orchard/crop on land that I own or rent. If “YES” refer to the information about applying for a Grower licence.

Question 2

The land that I intend to harvest wild plants from is:

a) Owned by me and I have proof of ownership by way of title deeds or similar documentation.  If “YES”, refer to the information about applying for a Wild harvester licence.


b) Not owned by me and is leased by me from another party, owned by someone else who has granted me access, is public land, State forest or other public authority land. If “YES” refer to the information about applying for a Picker licence.

Picker licences

A Picker licence are a class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the BC Act to a person or company to pick protected native plants on someone else's property, including a State Forest.

  • Written permission from the landowner is required prior to the issue of any picker licence.
  • Picking is restricted to those species listed in Part 1 Groups 1 and 2 of Schedule 6 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
  • Licences and monitoring are not required for species in Group 1.
  • A licence, monitoring, and recordkeeping are required for Group 2 species (and Group 3 species while picking is permitted).
  • Tags are not required for any species collected under a Picker licence.
  • No picking of species listed in Groups 4 or 5 of Schedule 6 will be permitted, and no species listed under the TSCA may be taken under a picker licence.
  • A Forest Products Licence from the local regional office of the Forestry Corporation of NSW  must also be obtained for picking in State Forests.
  • Picker licences are issued for one year only.
  • Applications may be subject to initial site inspections to verify the availability of species, and random inspections during the licence period.
  • A photo monitoring point must be established and clearly marked on the site map for each harvested species from Group 2 (and 3) to allow for demonstration and assessment of sustainability.
  • Annual licence fees vary depending on the costs incurred by OEH associated with inspecting and monitoring sites, and are subject to change. 

Fees for Picker licences are currently as follows: 

  • 1-2 sites: $75 per site
  • 3-5 sites: $200 net
  • 6-10 sites: $500 net
  • 11 or more sites: $1000 net.

Download Picker licence application for commercial use of native plants (PDF 143KB)

Wild harvester licences

Wild harvest licences are a class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the BC Act and allow a person or company to pick protected native plants from naturally occurring stands on property they own.

  • This licence may permit the harvest of species from groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Schedule 6.
  • No threatened species listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 may be taken under a wild harvester licence.
  • One licence only may be issued per property/land title.
  • Licences and monitoring are not required for species in Group 1.
  • A licence, monitoring and record-keeping are required for group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 species.
  • Group 4 species require NPWS tags (refer to FAQ page or the CFMP for more information on tagging).
  • Applications will be subject to site inspections to verify the availability of species.
  • A fixed photo monitoring point must be established at each harvest site and clearly labelled on the site map for each harvested species from groups 2, 3 or 4 to allow for demonstration and assessment of sustainability.
  • The initial application fee is $75; renewal fees are $50 with site inspection or $30 when a site inspection is not required.  Wild harvester licences are issued for one year only.
  • Note: a person harvesting from both wild and artificially propagated stock requires both a wild harvester licence and a grower licence. In this situation, only the wild harvester fee applies.

Download Wild harvester licence application for commercial use of native plants (PDF 449KB)

Grower licences

Grower licences, a class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the BC Act, enable a person or company to grow and harvest protected and threatened native plant parts from artificially cultivated plants on their own property.

  • The propagation of species listed in all Groups of Part 1 of Schedule 6, including threatened species is permitted.
  • Licences are required for species in Groups 2 to 5.
  • Grower tags are required for species in Group 5, and are recommended for species in Groups 2, 3 and 4. Tags must include “plantation grown” wording (refer to FAQ page or the CFMP for more information on tagging).
  • NPWS tags are compulsory for Group 4 species.
  • NPWS tags may be used where growers are unable to produce their own tags.

Fees for grower licences are currently as follows:

  • 1 year:   $30
  • 3 years: $75
  • 5 years: $100

Download Grower licence application for commercial use of native plants (PDF 143KB)

General terms and conditions for all cut-flower licences

No matter what licence you're applying for, you'll need to read and be sure you can comply with all general conditions.
There are also conditions specific to each licence type. You can view the general and licence-specific conditions within the relevant licence application forms or the appendices B, C, or D of the CFMP.
Note it is an offence under section 2.14 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 to breach a condition of a licence.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017