Exempt clearing work

List of exempt clearing work

The list of exempt clearing work details the activities for which you do not need to notify us or obtain approval under the vegetation management laws. If your clearing activity is not listed, you will need to read about other clearing approval options.

Exempt clearing work may not apply if the proposed clearing area is subject to development approval conditions, a covenant, an offset, a voluntary declaration or restrictions as a result of unlawful clearing. Contact us if you think these restrictions might apply to your property. Although vegetation management laws may allow clearing as exempt clearing work, there may be other state, local or Australian government laws that apply.

For more information, see exemptions under other legislation.

Exempt clearing work for agriculture and grazing purposes

The following apply on freehold land, Indigenous land and leasehold land for agriculture and grazing purposes. Information on vegetation types can be obtained from the regulated vegetation management map for your property.

Clearing purpose

Vegetation type


All purposes

Category X

Clearing is exempt on freehold, Indigenous and leasehold land.

Establish new infrastructure

Least concern regional ecosystems

Clearing to construct necessary built infrastructure where the total clearing extent and the extent of the infrastructure does not exceed 2ha.

Clearing to source construction timber to establish necessary infrastructure on the land.

Fences, roads or tracks

Least concern regional ecosystems

Clearing to establish a necessary fence, road or vehicular track to a maximum width of 10m.

Fire management line


Clearing for a necessary fire management line to a maximum width of 10m.



Clearing to establish or maintain a necessary firebreak to protect infrastructure (other than fences, roads and tracks) to a maximum width of 20m or 1.5 times the height of the tallest adjacent tree, whichever is the greater.

Hazardous fuel load reduction


Clearing by fire to reduce hazardous fuel load under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990.

Maintain existing infrastructure


Clearing necessary to maintain existing infrastructure, including buildings, fences, roads and watering points.

Clearing to source construction timber to maintain existing infrastructure on the land.

Risk to people or infrastructure


Clearing necessary to remove or reduce the imminent risk the vegetation poses to people or infrastructure.

Clearing for development

Clearing under a development approval for a material change of use or reconfiguring a lot is exempt clearing work under vegetation management laws if prior approval is given for a development application:

  • for which the chief executive (administering the Planning Act 2016) is a concurrence agency for clearing vegetation or
  • if a lot to which the application relates is less than 5ha, for which a local government is the assessment manager.

Exemptions under other legislation

Exemptions apply to some clearing activities permitted under other legislation, including the Forestry Act 1959Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990Electricity Act 1994Electricity Regulation 2006 and Disaster Management Act 2003.

Exemptions also apply to clearing for mining, petroleum and gas activities.

Under the protected plants laws, there are certain exemptions where protected plants can be cleared regardless of how the area is shown on the flora survey trigger.

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