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Allowable activities for public authorities

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 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 public authorities, local councils and utilities


The Local Land Services Act 2013 also enables public authorities, local councils and utilities to clear native vegetation on Category 2 - regulated land for the following purposes:

Public works

Allows clearing by a public or local authority for the construction, operation or maintenance of infrastructure (including cemeteries) by a public or local authority.

The native vegetation to be cleared must not be a threatened species, a protected plant under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 or be part of a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC), or be the habitat of a threatened species.

Telecommunications infrastructure

Allows owners of telecommunications infrastructure, or those acting on their behalf, to clear native vegetation for the construction, operation or maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure.

Gravel pits

Allows clearing on behalf of a local council for the construction, operation or maintenance of gravel pits.

The native vegetation to be cleared is limited to a single area of land no more than 5 hectares in the Western Zone and 2 hectares in all other zones.

Additionally, the cleared native vegetation must not be a threatened species, or be part of a TEC, or be the habitat of a threatened species, or be a protected plant under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Finally, the local council must revegetate the cleared area.

Electricity transmission infrastructure

Allows clearing for the maintenance of publicly owned power lines including:

  • maintaining safety clearances under power lines and around communications sites
  • minimising fuel loads under power lines
  • maintaining existing roads and tracks.

Clearing under this allowable activity cannot occur for:

  • the construction of new roads or tracks
  • removal of groundcover
  • safety clearances that exceed those listed in the Local Land Services Act 2013.

Additional considerations

Clearing for an allowable activity should be undertaken to the minimum extent necessary and certain allowable activities, such 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 holding (in any zone)12 metres
Vulnerable and sensitive regulated land6 metres

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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