Biodiversity Month is held in September each year and aims to promote the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biodiversity both within Australia and across the world. Biodiversity is important because it provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, and pest control amongst other essential activities that support life on earth.

As part of Biodiversity Month, Goulburn Mulwaree Council is undertaking a campaign to remind the community of the rules and regulations around land clearing, and the responsibility we all have to preserve native vegetation.

Native vegetation is protected by a variety of legislative instruments and penalties apply if you clear without approval.

Depending on where your property is located, and the clearing you would like to undertake, you will need to consult with Local Land Services or Council.

If you are clearing vegetation for agricultural purposes on rural zoned land, you will need to consult with Local Land Services. For all other clearing you will need to consult with Council.

“There may be a number of reasons you are looking to undertake clearing, but it’s important you come and speak with Council staff or Local Land Services prior to doing so,” said Mayor Bob Kirk.

“We have had cases recently of people claiming they were told by real estate agents, developers or other industry stakeholders that clearing was okay, but it’s important that you speak with us first. Although some exemptions may apply, typically approval is necessary.”

Native vegetation is well defined within the Local Land Services Act 2013 and includes: trees (including any sapling or shrub), understorey plants, groundcover (being any type of herbaceous vegetation), and plants occurring in a wetland.

Many people do not know that native grasses are included under the definition of vegetation and cannot be cleared without approval.

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