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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 on the routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) that were part of the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Under the new land management framework, greater flexibility and discretion is provided to landholders enabling them to efficiently undertake low risk routine land management activities.

Clearing undertaken for allowable activities on a landholding must only be carried out by, or on behalf of, the landholder 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 distance applies.

Allowable activities for landholders

The Local Land Services Act 2013 supports landholders undertaking day-to-day land management activities associated with agriculture and other common practices in rural areas. Allowable activities enable clearing for the following on Category 2 - regulated land.

Clearing may also be carried out by a person who is acting on behalf of the landholder, such as a contractor or employee.

Imminent risk

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

Traditional Aboriginal cultural activities

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

Collection of firewood

Landholders can clear native vegetation for firewood for use on the same land or other land owned by the landholder.

However, 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

Landholders can clear native vegetation to obtain timber for the purpose, 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

Allows landholders to clear planted native vegetation provided it has not been planted with the assistance of public funds.

Private power lines

Allows clearing that is reasonably necessary for the construction, operation or maintenance of privately owned power lines on private land.

Environmental protection works

Allows clearing of 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

Landholders may clear native vegetation for sustainable grazing provided this clearing does not result in the long-term decline in the structure and composition of native vegetation.

Sustainable grazing also extends to over-sowing or fertilisation of grasslands used for grazing.

Mulga Species for stock fodder on a landholding

Allows clearing of 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
  • clearing does not cause land degradation or the introduction of non-native vegetation.

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

Airstrips

Landholders 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.

Firebreaks

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

Additional considerations

Clearing for an allowable activity should be undertaken to the minimum extent necessary and certain allowable activities, such as Firebreaks and Gravel Pits, are limited or prohibited outside of the Western Zone.

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

More information

For more information please contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080, email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au or contact your local LLS office.