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Native Vegetation Act

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  • The Native Vegetation Act 2003, which ends broadscale landclearing in NSW while providing long-term certainty for farmers, came into effect on 1st of December 2005.

The Native Vegetation Act 2003 sets a framework for:

  • ending broadscale clearing unless it improves or maintains environmental outcomes
  • encouraging revegetation and rehabilitation of land with native vegetation, and
  • rewarding farmers for good land management.

Native Vegetation Management in NSW Information Sheets

Catchment Management Authorities administer the system which is based on voluntary agreements between landholders and CMAs called Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs). It is the most comprehensive and practically focussed system available in Australia and has the potential to lead to a revolution in the way we manage native vegetation across NSW.

$436 million has been directed to protect and restore landscapes, with at least $120 million of those funds earmarked to assist landholders improve native vegetation through PVPs.

On 13 September 2011, the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Robyn Parker MP, announced the commencement of the review of the regulations for the Native Vegetation Act 2003. This includes a review of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2005, the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology (EOAM) and the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice (PNF Code).

The review is focused on:

  • empowering the farming community to protect the environment and manage farms sustainably
  • cutting red-tape
  • improving service delivery
  • clarifying and removing ambiguity
  • increasing transparency
  • maintaining the environmental standard set by the Native Vegetation Act 2003

The review is being conducted by the Office of Environment & Heritage in partnership with the Environment Protection Authority, Catchment Management Authorities, with input from the Department of Primary Industries. A draft of the proposed Native Vegetation Regulation, EOAM and PNF Code have been released for public consultation. Comments can be submitted until midnight Friday 24 August 2012.

The following regional information sessions will be held across the Namoi catchment in July to explain the proposed changes:

  • Walgett - Walgett Sporting Club on Monday 16th July 2012 starting at 3 pm
  • Tamworth - Tamworth Community Centre on Friday 20th July 2012 starting at 2 pm

Alternatively you can register via phone by calling Kate Jones on 6742 9215

Feedback received at these meetings will be taken into consideration before deciding on the final changes to the Native Vegetation Regulation. The feedback recorded at both sessions will be available here for perusal.


What are PVPs?

A Property Vegetation Plan (PVP) is a voluntary but legally binding agreement between a landholder and the local Catchment Management Authority (CMA). A PVP may be required when applying for native vegetation incentive funding.


  • can be used to confirm whether any native vegetation meets the definition of regrowth so that a landholder can be confident they will not need future clearing approval;
  • can be used to change the regrowth date of native vegetation to an earlier date provided that proof is provided of two previous clearing events associated with rotational farming;
  • can be used to confirm whether existing rotational farming, grazing or cultivation practices meet the definitions of these in the Native Vegetation Act 2003 so that future clearing approvals will not be required; or
  • is required when seeking to utilise offsets associated with clearing, when approval under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 is required. 

How will they help me?

  • PVPs give farmers security to plan and invest
  • PVPs for clearing provide certainty against any future changes to environmental planning instruments for a period of up to 15 years
  • PVPs avoid the need for separate approvals under the threatened species legislation
  • Continuing use PVPs provide landholders with certainty that existing land uses can continue
  • Incentive PVPs allow farmers to obtain funding to protect and restore native vegetation
  • PVPs allow farmers to offset any negative impacts of clearing and
  • PVPs allow the clarification of the status of regrowth on a property.

Clearing that requires approval

Clearing remnant native vegetation or protected regrowth requires approval under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 unless the clearing is a permitted activity. Explanations of clearing, remnant vegetation, regrowth and protected regrowth are in Info Sheet 4 while details of all permitted activities are in Info Sheets 6 and 7.

Under the Native Vegetation Act your local CMA can only approve the clearing of remnant vegetation or protected regrowth when the clearing will improve or maintain environmental outcomes (see below).

How do I seek approval?

Where clearing does require approval, landholders may apply to their local CMA either to prepare a PVP or make an application for Development Consent. Your CMA can give you advice on the best option for your particular proposal.

How to get a PVP

Contact the Namoi CMA if you have a clearing proposal. An officer will contact you and arrange an onsite visit to discuss your proposal. The officer will work with you free of charge to help prepare a PVP.

For more information visit the NSW Government Native Vegetation Management website

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Namoi Catchment Management Authority, 2013