Clearing of Native Vegetation

Native vegetation is protected under the Environmental Protection Act (1986). All clearing of native vegetation is prohibited unless a clearing permit is granted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) or the clearing is for an exempt purpose, as defined under the Act or the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004. Clearing of native vegetation also includes the collection of firewood, flower picking, seed collection and removal of dead or dying vegetation. 

Native Vegetation Clearing Permits

All clearing of native vegetation in Western Australia requires a clearing permit under the Environmental Protection Act (1986) - unless an exemption applies.

If the native vegetation proposed to be cleared is not deemed exempt and lies within your property boundary the appropriate agency to contact in regards whether a clearing permit is required is the Native Vegetation Branch of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) on Ph: (08) 6364 7000. Website link: www.der.wa.gov.au/nvp

The Shire of Denmark cannot authorise the clearing of native vegetation where exemptions do not apply, but may be able to assist with information about whether the clearing requires a permit. If your query pertains to native vegetation where the vegetation abuts Shire managed land tenure, you are required to obtain land management authority approval prior to undertaking any clearing of native vegetation, even if deemed exempt from obtaining a clearing permit from DWER. 

Relevant information on the native vegetation clearing approval process can be found in the information below.

Exemptions for Native Vegetation Clearing Permits

For information on exemptions for native vegetation clearing permits please refer to the Guide to the Exemptions and Regulations for Clearing Native Vegetation (2019) 

NB Exemptions do not apply where land is designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA); where there are known populations of Declared Rare Flora or threatened flora; or riparian vegetation. To access the online publicly available map viewer which depicts the location of ESA’s please click here.

Further information relating to the clearing permit exemptions in fact sheet format can be found located at: https://www.der.wa.gov.au/our-work/clearing-permits/49-fact-sheets

If you are at all unsure as to whether your proposed clearing activity is exempt from obtaining a clearing permit it is advisable to contact DWER to confirm prior to undertaking any activity involving clearing of native vegetation on your property.

Native Vegetation Referrals

DWER has recently adapted their native vegetation clearing permits process to include an alternative referral pathway for low impact activities. If you are unsure as to whether your proposal to clear native vegetation is exempt, you can apply for a referral for your proposal through DWER at no cost via the Application for New Permit or Referral Form. Please click here for the Guideline to Native Vegetation Clearing Referrals (2021).

Weblink to DWER’s Clearing Permit information webpage: https://www.der.wa.gov.au/our-work/clearing-permits and

Weblink to the referrals process https://dwer.wa.gov.au/procedure/native-vegetation-clearing-permit

Weblink to the referrals and application form: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/nv-f01-application-new-permit-or-referral-form

Vegetation Clearing Documents

Guide to the Exemptions and Regulations for Clearing Native Vegetation (2019)

Clearing offences and penalties - EPA (1986)

Guideline to Native Vegetation Clearing Referrals (2021)

Application for New Permit or Referral Form

Shire of Denmark Declared Flora Roads Management Plan (2012)

Code of Practice for Roadside Conservation and Maintenance (2012)

West Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA)

In March 2021, Council unanimously supported the motion to support the West Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA) position to advocate for the immediate protection of high conservation value forests from logging and clearing, and to complete the transition of the timber industry to plantations and farm forestry. Council also supported the motion to advocate for the drafting of the next 10-year Forest Management Plan as a 10-year Forest Conservation Plan, and to advocate for the inclusion of the Bibbulmun Noongar custodians and all relevant stakeholders in the achievement of the aforementioned objectives. These objectives are aligned with Council's commitment to the WALGA Policy Statement on Climate Change (2018), acknowledging that we are in a state of climate emergency, and committing to a 50% reduction on current Shire of Denmark GHG emissions by 2030; and the achievement of net zero GHG emissions from all Shire of Denmark operations and activities by 2050. This advocacy statement is also strongly supported by the Shire's Community Vision of a "happy, healthy and eclectic community that embraces creativity, celebrates the natural environment and is invested in a strong local economy" and the aspiration outlined in the Denmark Strategic Community Plan (2027) which states "Our natural environment is highly valued and carefully managed to meet the needs of our community, now and in the future."

Website Links

Native vegetation clearing

West Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA)