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Land management code - pasture expansion

The land management (native vegetation) code 2018 (the code) has been developed to facilitate native vegetation management and support more efficient farming methods while responding to environmental risks.

The code provides options for clearing under following the categories:

  • invasive native species
  • pasture expansion
  • continuing use
  • equity
  • farm plan.

Overview

This part of the code allows the removal of woody native vegetation by uniform or mosaic thinning to promote native pastures and increase farm efficiency and productivity.

Uniform thinning of woody native vegetation (notification)

Allows clearing of native trees and shrubs provided:

  • the density of remaining native trees and shrubs remains at least 225 stems in each hectare of the treatment area, and
  • the remaining trees and shrubs are, as far as reasonably possible, at least two metres in height and evenly dispersed in the clearing area.

Landholding restrictions

Clearing under this division is not permitted on small landholdings or in the coastal zone.

Treatment area restrictions

Clearing under this division is only permitted if the vegetation is one of the following vegetation formations:

  • arid shrubland (Acacia sub-formation)
  • dry sclerophyll forest
  • forested wetland
  • grassy woodland
  • semi-arid woodland
  • wet sclerophyll forest (grassy sub-formation).

Clearing is not permitted in an area that:

  • is less than one hectare, or
  • contains a vulnerable ecological community (VEC) or an endangered ecological community (EEC).

Method and impact conditions

Clearing under this division must:

  • retain all native trees with a diameter at breast height over bark (DBHOB) greater than 90 centimetres,
  • if clearing on category 2 - vulnerable regulated land or within the buffer distance from a water body, be carried
    out only by clearing individual plants with nil disturbance of the soil and groundcover.

Soil and groundcover distance

Minimal disturbance to soil and groundcover means no greater than 30% of the total area.

Nil disturbance to soil and groundcover means no greater than 5% of the total area.

Requirements prior to undertaking permitted clearing

Notification to Local Land Services is required for uniform thinning (notification) at least two weeks prior to the clearing taking place.

Local Land Services can issue a voluntary code compliant certificate for the intended notifiable clearing.

A mandatory code compliant certificate issued by Local Land Services is required for uniform thinning (certification) and mosaic thinning.

Uniform thinning of woody native vegetation (certification)

Allows clearing provided:

  • the stem density of remaining native trees and shrubs are retained is the stem density set out in table 1 (for native vegetation that is not part of a VEC or EEC) or table 2 (for vegetation that is part of a VECs (see table 2), and
  • the remaining trees and shrubs are evenly dispersed in the clearing area.
Vegetation formationMinimum stem density
Arid Shrubland (Acacia sub-formation)75 stems per hectare
Dry Sclerophyll Forest150 stems per hectare
Forested Wetland115 stems per hectare
Grassy Woodland115 stems per hectare
Semi-arid Woodland75 stems per hectare
Wet Sclerophyll Forest (Grassy sub-formation)150 stems per hectare

Table 1 - Remaining stem density for vegetation that is not part of a VEC or EEC

Clearing of critically endangered ecological community not authorised

Clearing of native vegetation that forms part of a critically endangered ecological community is not authorised by the code

Vegetation formationMinimum stem density
Arid Shrubland (Acacia sub-formation)115 stems per hectare
Dry Sclerophyll Forest225 stems per hectare
Forested Wetland170 stems per hectare
Grassy Woodland170 stems per hectare
Semi-arid Woodland115 stems per hectare
Wet Sclerophyll Forest (Grassy sub-formation)225 stems per hectare

Table 2 - Remaining stem density for vegetation that is part of a VEC or EEC

However, Local Land Services may issues a certificate specifying an alternative minimum stem density to those listed in table 1 and table 2 if satisfied that:

  • a higher stem density is required to avoid significant adverse environmental impacts at a local or regional scale, or
  • a lower stem density is reasonable in the circumstances and would have no significant adverse environmental impacts.

Landholding restrictions

Clearing of native vegetation is not permitted under this division on a landholding in the Coastal Zone unless Local Land Services is satisfied the primary use of the land is for agricultural purposes.

Treatment area restrictions

In the central and western zones, clearing is only permitted if the vegetation comprise of one of the following vegetation formations:
* arid shrubland (Acacia sub-formation)

  • dry sclerophyll forest
  • forested wetland
  • grassy woodland
  • semi-arid woodland
  • wet sclerophyll forest (grassy sub-formation).

In the coastal zone, clearing is only permitted if the vegetation comprise of one of the following vegetation formations:

  • arid shrubland (Acacia sub-formation)
  • dry sclerophyll forest
  • grassy woodland
  • semi-arid woodland
  • wet sclerophyll forest (grassy sub-formation)

Additionally, clearing is not permitted in areas less than one hectare, wherever the landholding is located in the State.

Uniform thinning of woody native vegetation (certification)

Method and impact conditions

Clearing under this division must:

1. retain all native trees with a diameter at breast height over bark (DBHOB) greater than 90 centimetres,

2. if carried out in the Coastal Zone clearing is limited to the following genera:

  • Acacia
  • Allocasuarina
  • Angophra
  • Callitris
  • Casuarina
  • Corymbia
  • Eucalyptus
  • Leptospermum
  • Melaleuca
  • Syncarpia.

3. unless otherwise specified in a certificate, clearing on category 2 - vulnerable regulated land or within the buffer distance from a water body, may be carried out only by clearing individual plants with nil disturbance of the soil and groundcover.

Mosaic thinning of woody native vegetation

Allows clearing of native trees and shrubs provided:

  • the canopy cover of the remaining native trees in the area comprise at least 30 per cent of the clearing area,
  • the remaining native tree patches are at least five hectares in area and evenly distributed throughout the treatment area,
  • at least one patch of at least five hectares is retained in each 50 hectares.

Landholding restrictions

Clearing under this division is not permitted:

  • on a landholding on which category 2 - regulated land comprises less than 30 per cent of the landholding
  • on a small holding
  • on a landholding in the coastal zone unless Local Land Services is satisfied the primary use of the land is for agricultural activities.

Treatment area restrictions

On a single landholding, the total clearing area must not exceed 30% of the total area of the landholding.

Method and impact conditions

Clearing under this division must:

  • on category 2 - vulnerable land, cause no more than minimal disturbance to soil and groundcover
  • unless specifically authorised in a certificate, not occur on category 2 - vulnerable regulated land or within the buffer distance from a water body
  • if authorised, by certificate, to be undertaken on category 2 - vulnerable regulated land, clearing must cause nil disturbance to soil and groundcover
  • not occur if the vegetation forms part of a VEC or an EEC
  • retain all trees with a DBHOB of greater than 90 centimetres.

Other conditions

This division does not allow a change of land use, for example, from grazing to cropping. Any area cleared under this division may not be used for cropping.

Further information

To find out more about pasture expansion or the native vegetation reforms and how they affect you, contact Local Land
Services on 1300 778 080, email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au or call into your nearest Local Land Services office.