Vegetation clearing requirements

The clearing of native vegetation in Queensland is regulated by both the Australian and Queensland governments. Some local governments also regulate clearing.

Your first step in identifying clearing requirements administered by the Queensland Government is to obtain a property report and vegetation maps. These are free and can be requested online. This information will help you choose the appropriate clearing option.

Australian Government legislation

You may need to obtain approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Act if your proposed clearing has a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance, such as threatened species or ecological communities.

Queensland protected plants legislation

Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, you may need a clearing permit before clearing protected native plants.

Exemptions may apply if your clearing:

  • complies with an accepted development vegetation clearing code for managing weeds or managing encroachment
  • is for fire management
  • is to manage serious risks to people or buildings/infrastructure.

Visit the Department of Environment and Science website for more information.

Queensland vegetation management legislation

Queensland’s vegetation management legislation allows many routine clearing activities to be undertaken as exempt clearing work or using an accepted development clearing code or area management plan.

In some cases, you may need to obtain a development approval before clearing.

State forestry interests

If the area you want to clear is on leasehold land, or land subject to a forest consent area, you should contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to ensure the state has no commercial interest in the timber.

Local government requirements

Some local governments have local laws or planning scheme requirements that also regulate clearing.

Other legislation

The main federal, state and local government requirements are listed above, but other legislation may impact on your proposed clearing. Please ensure you contact the relevant agency to check requirements.

Related links