The Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Act 2013 (the Act) was passed by Parliament on 21 May 2013 introducing a number of significant changes to the vegetation management framework in Queensland. 

As outlined in our article entitled “Planned changes to the vegetation management framework” dated 22 May 2013, the Act aims to simplify the mapping of vegetation and streamline assessment for vegetation clearing generally through:

  • removal of the high value regrowth vegetation regulations from freehold and indigenous land;
  • the introduction of new clearing purposes under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 to expand the range of circumstances in which an application can be made for a development permit for vegetation clearing;
  • the creation of self assessable clearing codes to remove the need for an application to be made in certain circumstances;
  • the introduction of a single vegetation map incorporating information that is currently shown on various maps produced by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines; and
  • locking in regulated and non-regulated vegetation to provide landowners with greater certainty when developing long term property plans.

When will these changes come into effect?

The changes to the enforcement and compliance provisions of the VMA commenced operation on the date of assent, being 23 May 2013. However, the removal of the regrowth regulations, the introduction of the new clearing purposes and the creation of the self assessable clearing codes are not expected to come into effect until towards the end of 2013 on a date yet to be proclaimed. In the meantime, the framework in place prior to the Act will continue to apply.