Vegetation clearing changes for rural landholders in Queensland – July 2018

On the 8th of March 2018 changes to the vegetation management laws were tabled in Queensland Parliament, which were passed on the 18 May 2018

Ecosure has been looking at these changes, and what the impact is for rural landholders.

 

Does it impact on my current PMAV Category X areas?

NO

There are no changes to the PMAVs issued prior to 8 March 2018. Category X/white will have retained as Category X areas on a PMAV.

However white areas that were not locked in under a PMAV may have changed to Category C or Category R areas, you will need to check the mapping.

Maps of these areas are currently available on the DNRME website or Queensland Globe. Generally we find the DNRME website is easier to acquire a map, but it requires lot on plan details:

https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/vegetation/vegetation-map-request-form

Please note that there were significant updates to the vegetation mapping on the 1 July 2018, so it is important to check this mapping for updates.

 

Will it impact on any PMAV applications requested prior to 8th March 2018?

NO

It should not impact on any PMAV applications requested prior to 8 March 2018

 

How will it affect any new PMAV applications?

The following changes will impact any new PMAVs or PMAVs applied post 8 March 2018:

  • Any areas that are Category B and proposed to be Category X will need to consider if Category C or Category R vegetation (see below for meanings)

Any areas that are Category X on a current PMAV should not be changed with any new PMAV applications.

 

What does Category C on my property mean?

Category C areas are identified as high value regrowth, which is regrowth vegetation that has not been cleared in more than 15 years, and was not locked in as Category X on a PMAV. You cannot clear or thin these areas without an exemption or notification

To change these areas to Category X, you have to show that either:

  • The areas have been cleared in the last 15 years or
  • The area is no longer a valid regional ecosystem (like is now a paddock or cropped)

These areas can be changed through a detailed PMAV application

 

What does Category R on my property mean?

Category R areas are areas are within 50 m of a watercourse, and was not locked in as Category X on a PMAV. You cannot clear or thin these areas without an exemption or notification

To change these areas to Category X, you have to show that either:

  • The watercourse is in a different location (which is just likely to move the Category R areas, not remove them)
  • Show that the watercourse does not have a defined bank – which my be possible for very small streams.

However note that the most part, there are exemptions and notifications that should allow you manage the vegetation on a Category R area without significant issues.

 

Does it impact thinning notifications?

YES

There are now no fast track thinning applications or notifications in place for Category B vegetation. Any thinning notifications that were submitted are now invalid.

You can now only use thinning notifications for Category C and Category R vegetation.

For Category B vegetation, thinning is now only through a Development Application. We will providing a more detailed blog post on thinning under development applications.

 

Does it impact encroachment notifications/permits?

NO

Existing encroachment notification/permits are unaffected, and clearing under self-assessable codes for encroachment are still available

 

Does it impact fodder permits?

YES

Any fodder notifications issued prior to 8 March 2018 are now invalid.

Clearing for fodder is still available under a self-assessable codes, but need to be applied under the new codes.

 

Does it impact existing exemptions for clearing to maintain existing infrastructure or routine maintenance?

NO

The changes do not seem to suggest a change in existing exemptions for maintaining fences and built infrastructure, or for clearing new fences in least concern vegetation.

 

For further details you can call Paul Humphreys or Geoffrey Sinclair on 4994 1000