Key Points:

There are significant changes to the exemptions for approvals for clearing of native vegetation.

Changes to the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 (Qld) affecting exemptions for approvals for clearing native vegetation will commence on 1 September 2015.

The amendments to the Regulation:

  • replace the existing clearing exemptions for roadworks and ancillary works on State-controlled and future State-controlled roads, and for routine transport corridor management on rail, non-rail and commercial corridor land with a more general exemption for government supported community infrastructure for transport; and
  • restrict the existing clearing exemption for community infrastructure to land that is subject to a community infrastructure designation.

Transitional provisions will apply to clearing where:

  • a development application for community infrastructure is made before 1 September 2015 but not decided before 2 August 2013; and
  • a development approval is given (on or after 2 August 2013); and
  • clearing for the approved development, in relation to one of the amended exemptions listed above, takes place after 1 September 2015.

The changes to the Sustainable Planning Regulation will make significant changes to the exemptions for approvals for clearing of native vegetation, particularly for community infrastructure, and will be relevant to proponents and assessment managers alike.