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Native Vegetation Removal

Why should we protect our native vegetation?

Native Vegetation is important to provide a range of ‘ecosystem services’ that benefit and support both people and biodiversity.  This includes:

  • Provide food and habitat for wildlife
  • Provide shelter for livestock
  • Reduce erosion and maintain healthy soils
  • Increase rainfall and retain water in the landscape
  • Capture carbon, reduce air pollution and create oxygen
  • Absorbs energy from sunlight and is an important influence on climate
  • Provide cooling and amenity in urban environments

How is native vegetation protected?

Native vegetation is protected under Clause 52.17 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.These provisions are incorporated into the Latrobe Planning Scheme. Some plant species and ecological communities are also protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1998. Native vegetation may also be protected under the Conservation, Forestry and Lands Act 1987, National Parks Act 1975 and The Code of Practice for Timber Production.

Native vegetation in Latrobe City Council is protected not only within reserves, nature strips and waterways but also on private property.

What approvals are required?

Permits to remove native vegetation are required for a single tree, patches of trees and includes ground cover native vegetation. More information about applications to remove native vegetation can be found here.

Are there exemptions?

There are exemptions from requiring a planning permit to remove native vegetation for certain uses, activities or developments.  There are many factors that need to be considered when claiming an exemption and the principles of avoid and minimise will apply. Exemptions that are commonly relied upon include those for bushfire protection, and the construction and maintenance of fences.

When relying on an exemption, landowners/land managers are responsible for complying with relevant planning scheme requirements. It is a good idea to check with the Council’s planning department to confirm if an exemption applies to the proposed removal. 

For further information contact the Sustainability and Environment Team at

Where can I find more information?

Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (DEECA)Native Vegetation Removal Regulations.

DEECA general enquiries: 136 186

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