Clearing before and after a natural disaster

This page explains the notification and approval requirements to clear vegetation to prepare, deal with and recover from natural disasters.

Preparing your property for a natural disaster

Firebreaks and fire management lines

Special provisions apply to clearing for fire management.

Other clearing under a code or development approval

You may be able to undertake other clearing to mitigate the impact of natural disasters using an accepted development vegetation clearing code.

These codes are self-assessable. You must notify us before starting to clear, and make sure you follow the requirements listed in the code. The codes in the following table have relevant provisions.

For any clearing beyond this scope, you’ll need to apply for a development approval.

Clearing for natural disasters using a clearing code
Code Vegetation types Natural disaster provisions
Necessary environmental clearing Category B, C and R vegetation across Queensland Flood preparation: removal of vegetation from a watercourse to mitigate flooding
Clearing for infrastructure Category B, C and R vegetation across Queensland Clearing for firebreaks in non-coastal areas
Clearing for infrastructure Category C and R vegetation across Queensland Clearing for fire management lines
Managing regulated regrowth vegetation Category C and R vegetation, across Queensland Clearing for public safety risk

Cleaning-up after a disaster

Clearing debris

You can remove fallen woody debris without a permit or notification from existing tracks, roads, fire management lines and firebreaks.

Clearing in disaster-declared areas

If the government has declared your district a disaster area, you don’t need to get our approval or to notify us if the clearing is necessary to prevent or minimise any of the following:

  • loss of human life, or illness or injury
  • property loss or damage
  • damage to the environment.

This applies for 1 year following the disaster declaration. The following table shows current disaster declared areas in Queensland.

Clearing exemption dates in disaster declared areas
Local government area Date declared Exemption valid to
Flooding in north-west Queensland in March 2023
Burke Shire Council 10 March 2023 10 March 2024
Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council10 March 202310 March 2024

Find out more