Removal of Native Vegetation

Native vegetation is important

Since European settlement the majority of native vegetation in Latrobe City has been cleared primarily for agriculture. Less than 23% native vegetation cover remains, and there is less than 5% of plains grassy woodland in which many of our towns were built. It is important that this is protected, as native vegetation is priceless in terms of providing clean air, clean water and a healthy environment.

Permit applications for native vegetation removal

In Victoria, a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation. This includes native trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses. These regulations are known as the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations.

You are exempted from requiring a permit if the property involved is less than 0.4 hectares (less than 1 acre).

The ‘Permitted clearing of native vegetation - Biodiversity assessment guidelines’ (the Guidelines) outline the application requirements for a permit to remove native vegetation. The application requirements differ depending on whether the application is in the low, moderate or high risk based pathway which is determined by the amount of native vegetation proposed to be removed (in hectares or number of trees) and its location in the landscape. An online tool called the Native Vegetation Information Management system (NVIM) is available to assist landholders in determining the risk based pathway of their application.

The online ‘Low risk-based pathway permit applicants kit’ is available to assist landholders when preparing applications in the low-risk based pathway.

This kit assists landholders prepare an application for a permit to remove native vegetation and meet the application requirements set out in the Guidelines. By following the steps outlined in the kit an applicant can:

confirm if a permit is required to remove native vegetation

  • classify the native vegetation proposed to be removed

  • use the online tool (NVIM) to produce a Biodiversity Assessment Report to include with the application

  • provide any additional information required by the Guidelines.

The kit includes an application form that should be completed and submitted to Latrobe City Council along with a Biodiversity Assessment Report, Latrobe City Application for a Planning Permit form and any other documentation required, including application fees.

Additional information is required when preparing applications under the moderate and high risk based pathways, including a habitat hectare assessment report. Before preparing an application under moderate or high-risk based pathways you should arrange a pre-application meeting and site visit with a Latrobe City planning officer.

If you need assistance or guidance in preparing an application please contact a Latrobe City planning officer on 1300 367 700.

Collecting firewood

Council-managed reserves and roadsides should not be used for firewood collection. Dead trees and fallen wood in bushland areas provide important habitat for plants and animals and should be left in place.

Designated firewood collection areas on land managed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries can be used for firewood collection during certain times of the year. Visit the DEPI firewood webpage for further details.

Reporting illegal removal of native vegetation

Latrobe City Council is the responsible authority for administering and enforcing the planning scheme under which native vegetation is protected. There are penalties for the illegal removal of native vegetation.

To report suspected illegal native vegetation removal contact the Planning Enforcement Officer.

You must leave your name and contact details.

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