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Allowable activities for landholders

Allowable activities cover a range of routine land management activities associated with agriculture and other common practices in rural areas. Clearing for allowable activities does not require approval under the Local Land Services Act 2013.

Overview

Allowable activities consolidate, simplify and expand the routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) that were part of the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Under the new land management framework, you have greater flexibility and discretion to efficiently undertake low risk routine land management activities.

You should only clear for an allowable activity to the minimum extent necessary. Clearing undertaken for allowable activities on a landholding must only be carried out by you as the landholder, or on your behalf unless specifically stated otherwise. All other required statutory approvals must be obtained before clearing for a work, building or structure.

There are three (3) Allowable Activity Zones in NSW, the Western, Central and Coastal Zones. The maximum clearing distances for allowable activities are different for each zone.

Where land is classed as Category 2 – vulnerable regulated land or Category 2 – regulated sensitive land, allowable activities are limited and reduced  maximum clearing distances apply.

Allowable activities for landholders on Category 2 - regulated land

Imminent risk

You can clear native vegetation considered reasonably necessary to remove or reduce an imminent risk of serious personal injury or damage to property.

Firewood collection

You can clear native vegetation for firewood for use on the same land or other land you own.

Firewood may be collected for non-commercial use on Category 2 - regulated land, Category 2 - vulnerable regulated or Category 2 - sensitive regulated.

Firewood may not be collected in areas of Category 2 - vulnerable regulated and Category 2 - sensitive regulated land where the vegetation is within a buffer distance from a water body.

The clearing must not occur if the firewood could be obtained from other allowable activities or from clearing associated with the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code. Native vegetation to be cleared must not be a threatened species, or be part of a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC), or be the habitat of a threatened species.

Construction timber

You can clear native vegetation to obtain timber for the purpose of, or for use in, the construction, operation or maintenance of rural infrastructure on the same land.

However, the clearing must not cause land degradation or any processes likely to result in a decline in water quality. The native vegetation to be cleared must not be a threatened species, or be part of a TEC or be the habitat of a threatened species.

In addition, clearing is not allowed if the timber could be obtained from other allowable activities or from clearing under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code.

Planted native vegetation

You can clear planted native vegetation provided it has not been planted with the assistance of public funds.

Private power lines

You can clear native vegetation that is reasonably necessary for the construction, operation or maintenance of privately owned power lines on private land.

Airstrips

You may clear native vegetation for the construction, operation or maintenance of an airstrip provided the clearing is limited to the minimum required to meet civil aviation standards.

Traditional Aboriginal cultural activities

You can clear native vegetation for traditional Aboriginal cultural activities provided the clearing is not for commercial purposes.

Environmental protection works

You are allowed to clear native vegetation for environmental protection works (i.e. works associated with the rehabilitation of land towards a natural state or works to protect land from environmental degradation including re-vegetation, bush regeneration, wetland protection works, erosion protection works, dune restoration).

However, clearing under this allowable activity does not extend to coastal protection works as defined by the Coastal Protection Act 1979.

Sustainable grazing

You may clear native vegetation, including grasslands for sustainable grazing, including oversowing or fertilisation of grasslands. This may be done provided this clearing does not result in the long-term decline in the structure and composition of native vegetation.

Firebreaks

If you are in the Western Zone, you may clear native vegetation to a distance of 100 metres where the vegetation is predominantly a mallee species.

Mulga Species for stock fodder on a landholding

You are allowed to clear native vegetation (comprising mulga - acacia aneura) for stock fodder on the same landholding from which the native vegetation is cleared. Under this allowable activity clearing must:

not exceed 50% of the total area of mulga on the land holding in any 10 year period,

  • cleared  mulga remains on the ground where it is cleared or is windrowed along a contour on the landholding,
  • clearing does not result in remaining mulga plants being over 20 metres apart, and
  • clearing does not cause land degradation or the introduction of non-native vegetation.

However, clearing under this allowable activity is not authorised in the Coastal Zone, on Category 2 - vulnerable regulated land, on small holdings or within 20 metres of a wetland or watercourse.

Maximum clearing distances for rural infrastructure

Clearing for rural infrastructure must be undertaken to the minimum extent necessary to build and maintain rural infrastructure. The maximum distance of clearing for rural infrastructure in each zone and on small landholding is as follows:

ZoneClearing distance
Western zone40 metres
Central zone30 metres
Coastal zone15 metres
Small holdings (in any zone)12 metres
Vulnerable and sensitive regulated land6 metres

Further information on clearing for rural infrastructure is available in the fact sheet - Allowable activities relating to rural infrastructure. 

More information

To find out more about native vegetation and your options under the Land Management Framework:

  • contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299
  • email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au
  • go to lls.nsw.gov.au/slm
  • call in to your nearest Local Land Services office and ask for a Sustainable Land Management officer.

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