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Allowable activities for Private Native Forestry

Allowable activities cover a range of routine land management activities associated with agriculture, forestry 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 and simplify the routine agricultural management activities (RAMAs) that were part of the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Recent changes to the private native forestry framework have provided greater flexibility and discretion to landholders enabling them to efficiently undertake low risk routine land management activities.

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Clearing undertaken for allowable activities on a landholding must only be carried out by, or on behalf of, the landholder unless specifically stated  otherwise. Clearing may also be carried out by a person who is acting on behalf of the landholder, such as a contractor or employee. 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 and are also reduced on small landholdings (holdings under 40ha in the Western Division and under 10ha elsewhere in the State).

Allowable activities enable clearing for the following on Category 2 - regulated land. Where land is classed as Category 2 – vulnerable regulated land or Category 2 – regulated sensitive land, allowable activities are limited and a reduced maximum clearing distance applies.

Allowable activities in Private Native Forestry Plan areas

Imminent risk

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

Collection of firewood

Landholders can harvest 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 or from forest operations authorised by a private native forestry plan.

Native vegetation to be harvested must not be a threatened species, or be part of a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC), or be the habitat of a threatened species.

In addition, for Private Native Forestry Plan areas harvesting must not:

  • cause land degradation, including soil erosion, rising water tables, increases in salinity, mass movement by gravity of soil or rock, stream bank instability and any process that results in declining water quality, and
  • occur on land that is described as a riparian exclusion zone or riparian buffer zone in the private native forestry code of practice that applies to the private native forestry plan area.

Construction timber

Landholders can harvest 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 occur if the construction timber could be obtained from other allowable activities or from clearing associated with the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code or from forest operations authorised by a private native forestry plan.

Native vegetation to be harvested must not be a threatened species, or be part of a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC), or be the habitat of a threatened species.

In addition, for Private Native Forestry Plan areas harvesting must not:

  • cause land degradation, including soil erosion, rising water tables, increases in salinity, mass movement by gravity of soil or rock, stream bank instability and any process that results in declining water quality, and
  • occur on land that is described as a riparian exclusion zone or riparian buffer zone in the private native forestry code of practice that applies to the private native forestry plan area.

Planted native vegetation

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

In addition, for Private Native Forestry Plan areas harvesting is not authorised if the land has been planted as part of stocking or regeneration requirements under a relevant private native forestry code of practice or as a result of a direction given or requirements made by the Chief Environmental Regulator of the Environmental Protection Authority.

Private power lines

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

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.

Maximum clearing distances for rural infrastructure

Managing native vegetation 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 a small landholding is as follows:

ZONE

CLEARING DISTANCE

Western zone

40 metres

Central zone

30 metres

Coastal zone

15 metres

Small holdings (in any zone)

12 metres

Vulnerable and sensitive regulated land

6 metres

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.

The Environmental protection works and the Exempt farm forestry allowable activities are not permitted in Private Native Forestry Plan areas.

More information

For information about the allowable activities for landholders including areas covered by a Private Native Forestry Plan contact your nearest Private Native Forestry officer. 

You can also call 1300 795 299 or email pnf.info@lls.nsw.gov.au