Vegetation management and the Emissions Reduction Fund

Queensland’s vegetation management framework regulates the clearing of native vegetation, including mapped remnant vegetation, and mapped high-value regrowth vegetation that occurs on freehold land, Indigenous land, leasehold land for agricultural and grazing purposes, and occupational licences. The Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) provides landholders with an opportunity to earn an alternative source of income through the management of native vegetation. Doing this will also assist in reducing Australia’s carbon emissions by not clearing and/or allowing forests to regrow.

Participation in the ERF

To participate in the ERF scheme, applicants will need to meet the regulatory additionality requirement which aims for genuine abatement measures that are additional to existing regulation. For vegetation management projects, this means that abatement activities will generally only be credited where the vegetation is not regulated, and can legally be cleared.

In Queensland, because of restrictions under the vegetation management framework, remnant vegetation (Category B areas) and high-value regrowth vegetation (Category C areas) may not be eligible.

Currently, there is greater potential in areas mapped as Category X, given that clearing restrictions do not apply in these areas under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. The establishment of forests in areas that are currently un-vegetated, or have been used for cropping or grazing, also have potential under the ERF.

We can provide support to landholders who are thinking about participating in the ERF, through the use of satellite imagery and aerial photography to determine past clearing events.

Questions on possible projects under the ERF, including the use of different methodologies for estimating emissions reductions from various activities, should be directed to the Clean Energy Regulator.

Emissions reduction methods

Queensland landholders have benefited from the ERF (e.g. projects relating to managing regrowth regeneration, and savannah burning). To be eligible for funding under the ERF, proposed projects must use an approved method.

Methods applicable to vegetation management can be broadly divided into the following.

Managing growth

Native forest from managed regrowth allows native vegetation to grow and become forest by controlling weeds and feral animals, thereby promoting regrowth from existing natural seed sources.

Human-induced regeneration includes establishing forests in areas that have been used for cropping or ongoing grazing for at least 10 years, by removing activities that prevent regrowth from occurring.

Avoided clearing

Avoided clearing of native regrowth includes the protection of native regrowth forest that would otherwise be cleared, as evidenced by the fact that the area has been cleared twice before.

Avoided deforestation includes protecting a native forest that would otherwise be cleared for crops or grassland. This method currently has limited applicability in Queensland due to the rules around providing evidence of a valid clearing consent.

Planting forests

Planting trees on land that contains no forest cover includes:

Other methods

Other vegetation related methods also exist. Visit the Clean Energy Regulator’s website for the most up-to-date methods. Additional methods may also be developed in the future.

Contact us

For more information about your property, including vegetation types and historical satellite imagery and aerial photography, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or contact your nearest business centre.

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