Development applications triggering vegetation clearing


Any application for development in Queensland involving a material change of use (MCU), reconfiguration of a lot (RaL)  or operational works (including quarries), that occurs within an area identified as regulated vegetation (ie potentially involve clearing native vegetation), is required to be assessed against the Queensland native vegetation code – Module 8 of the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP). SDAP sets out the matters of interest to the state for development assessment under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA).

Copies of regulated vegetation maps are available from the following site (select ‘Regulated Vegetation Management Map’):

or using the SDAP mapping system (select SARA layers, Environment and Heritage, Native vegetation clearing):

Module 8 of the SDAP has detailed requirements (performance outcomes or goals) for clearing vegetation, and requires you to consider impacts on:

  • Wetlands (including buffers)
  • Watercourses (including buffers)
  • Connectivity
  • Soil erosion
  • Salinity
  • Conservation of endangered and of concern regional ecosystems (REs)
  • Essential habitat (EH) for threatened species
  • Acid sulfate soils

Module 8 provides a list of acceptable outcomes, or minimum requirements, that will limit impacts on each of these. If you cannot design your proposal to meet the acceptable outcomes,  alternative options can be proposed to meet the performance outcomes.  The acceptable outcomes involving connectivity requirements are often difficult to address and need to be addressed the performance outcomes.  Some acceptable outcomes also have options for providing vegetation offsets.

The Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VMA) (section 22DA) also identifies that a property vegetation management plan (PVMP) is required for these development applications.  The Vegetation Management Regulation 2012 (Section 11) defines what is needed in a PVMP, including:

  • Maps of areas that are to be cleared
  • How the clearing meets the relevant purposes under the VMA.
  • Details of the way the vegetation clearing meets the relevant codes.

Ecosure environmental consultants have dealt with hundreds of development applications involving clearing vegetation, and have the relevant expertise and experience to satisfy the legal requirements and provide relevant responses to meet state and local government vegetation clearing codes and vegetation offsets.

Contact: Geoffrey Sinclair 4994 1000

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