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Clearing activities: before and after natural disasters

Read more about other legislation which may apply to vegetation clearing, including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Clearing vegetation after a declared disaster

You may need to clear native vegetation on your property during, or immediately after a disaster.

Under vegetation management laws you do not need prior approval or to notify the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy if:

  • the government has made a disaster situation declaration under the Disaster Management Act 2003 for your district


  • 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.

Disaster situation declarations

The following disaster situation declarations have been made as a result of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

  • Townsville District Disaster Management Group declaration on 26 March 2017 - covering the local government areas of Burdekin, Charters Towers, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island, Townsville and Richmond Regional/Shire Councils.
  • Mackay District Disaster Management Group declaration on 26 March 2017 - covering the local government areas of Isaac, Mackay and Whitsunday Regional Councils.
  • Rockhampton District Disaster Management Group declaration on 1 April 2017 - covering the local government areas of Central Highlands, Livingstone, Rockhampton and Woorabinda Regional/Shire Councils.

Refer to the protected plants information for exemptions which exist for taking a protected plant in the wild by clearing (e.g. clearing to reduce or avoid an imminent risk of serious injury or death to a person or damage to buildings or property).

These arrangements apply for one year after a disaster situation has been declared.

Clearing vegetation to prepare for a natural disaster

Some clearing of vegetation to prepare for a natural disaster can be conducted using an accepted development vegetation clearing code. Refer to the Managing necessary environmental works, the Managing Category C regrowth vegetation, and the Managing Category R regrowth accepted development vegetation clearing codes for more information about clearing to prepare for a natural disaster.

Cleaning up after a natural disaster

Fallen woody debris can be removed without a permit or notification, from existing tracks, roads, fire management lines and firebreaks.

Related links

Contact us

For more information about vegetation management, please contact us.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
3 July 2017
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