Monitoring for vegetation compliance

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water uses a variety of approaches to monitor for vegetation compliance.

Community members can provide information to the department about suspected unlawful clearing of native vegetation. Help stop illegal clearing.

We cross-check information provided using available government databases and may contact the landholder of the property, or the community member who has made the report to Environment Line to obtain additional information. If it appears that there may be a breach of the rules, we will investigate taking into consideration the potential for ongoing environmental harm. 

Investigations and audits

Our authorised officers conduct field investigations and audits to monitor compliance with vegetation clearing laws and instruments including certificates, approvals, notifications, stop work orders, remedial orders, and enforceable undertakings. 

For more information about investigations, refer to the our Land clearing investigation: What to expect when contacted about clearing of native vegetation fact sheet.

Aerial surveys

From time to time, we undertake aerial surveillance to monitor vegetation clearing. Aerial surveys may involve monitoring of the whole state or may focus on smaller areas. 

Satellite imagery 

The Department monitors satellite images to identify woody vegetation clearing across New South Wales through the annual state-wide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) and more regularly via early change monitoring (ECM). 

Early notification of clearing enables early intervention, which:

  • assists landholders in understanding their vegetation management obligations
  • reduces breaches of the regulations
  • protects vulnerable native vegetation and biodiversity values.

The clearing identified by SLATS and ECM is analysed and assessed by the our imagery analysis experts. We then cross-check the clearing against available government databases to check for approvals.

In some cases, we need to contact the landholder or manager to obtain further information.

If the clearing is unexplained, we will investigate for a potential breach of the regulations. 

For more information, refer to our Monitoring land clearing: Early change monitoring of native vegetation fact sheet.