Vegetation Protection

The protection of vegetation in Logan City is administered by the Biodiversity areas overlay code. The purpose of the code is to protect and improve a range of environmental values such as: wildlife habitat and movement; biodiversity corridors; native vegetation; and landscape values. 

What vegetation is protected?

The Biodiversity area overlay code applies to assessable development within an identified biodiversity mapped area and provides exempt, self-assessable, compliance assessable and code assessable solutions and outcomes. Where clearing of protected vegetation is unavoidable an environmental offset may be applied.
The Biodiversity protection overlay provides a consistent approach across the city by classifying protected vegetation into two categories:

  • 'Primary vegetation' (shown as light pink), protecting all native vegetation; and
  • 'Secondary vegetation' (shown and light green), protecting native trees, greater than 4 metres in height; or with a trunk circumference of 31.5cm or greater measured at 1.3m from the ground.

What is the clearing of vegetation? What is lopping?

Under the Sustainable Planning Act, "clearing of vegetation" means to remove, cut down, ringbark, push over, poison or destroy in any way including by burning, flooding or draining. However, it does not include damaging standing vegetation by stock, or lopping a tree.

"Lopping" a tree means cutting or pruning its branches, but does not include removing its trunk and cutting or pruning its branches so severely that it is likely to die.

What is exempted clearing?

Exempted clearing refers to the clearing of protected vegetation within the Biodiversity areas overlay for which a development permit is not required. Specific terms and conditions apply to different areas, however a brief summary of exemptions is listed below. For a full description of exempted clearing provisions please refer to Tables 5.10.2.1.1 to 5.10.2.1.5 (PDF 2095 KB) of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Logan Planning Scheme 2015 version 1.1, or alternatively contact Customer Service at Logan City Council.

Summary of exemptions to clearing protected vegetation

  • Clearing of 'native vegetation' can occur outside areas identified as primary vegetation management area, and clearing of 'native trees' can occur outside of areas identified as secondary vegetation management areas.
  • Vegetation clearing is exempt on lots less than 5000m2 in an urban type zone, as long as the area isn't identified as koala corridor, in OM02.01 or classified as endangered remnant vegetation which is protected under the State Government's Vegetation Management Act 1999.
  • Exempt clearing along a boundary fence (excluding a 'native habitat tree'): three metres on a lot between one and five hectares in size; and five meters on a lot greater than five hectares in size.
  • Removal of native vegetation in the inner zone (10 metres) around an existing or approved class 1 building (such as a dwelling); and the removal of native vegetation other than a 'native tree' from the outer zone (10 metres) as shown in Figure 5.10.2.1.1.
  • Removal of native vegetation in the inner zone (5 metres) around an existing or approved class 10 building or structure (such as a shed); and the removal of native vegetation other than a 'native tree' from the outer zone (5 metres) as shown in Figure 5.10.2.1.2.

Relevant definitions 

  • Native tree: a tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia: greater than four metres in height; or with a trunk circumference of 31.5 cm or greater measured at 1.3 metres from the ground.
  • Native habitat tree: a tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia: with a trunk circumference of 220 cm or more measured at 1.3 metres above ground level; or that contains a hollow.
  • Native vegetation: a tree, a bush, a shrub, a grass or other vascular plant and includes any part of a tree, a bush, a shrub, a grass or other vascular plant that is indigenous to Australia.

How do I lodge an operational works vegetation clearing application

For the proposed removal of vegetation applications must be submitted by the owner(s) of the subject property or submitted with written authorisation enabling others to apply on their behalf. Application must be made on the prescribed IDAS forms 1 and 6, which are available from Council offices or at Sustainable Planning Act - IDAS Forms.

Applications must also state their reasons for wanting to clear vegetation and include a site plan with sufficient details to clearly identify the proposal. Absent or poor site plans may prolong the decision making process while more detail is requested by Council. The site plan preferably will be on A3 paper and scaled 1:200.

The site plan should contain the following information (an example of a basic site plan is shown below):

  • North point
  • Property boundaries and road frontage
  • Existing or proposed building locations, driveways and access tracks
  • Waterways/water bodies, easements and any other relevant existing features
  • Location of the affected vegetation and outlines of other existing vegetation
  • Vegetation species (if known) and distances between structures and vegetation
  • Revegetation area

 

Example of basic site plan

  • Tree 1: Eucalyptus crebra (Ironbark)
  • Height: 10.0 metres
  • Girth: 0.60 metres
  • Canopy Spread: 4.0 metres
  • Tree 2: Eucalyptus tereticornis (Forest red gum)
  • Height: 12.0 metres
  • Girth: 0.70 metres
  • Canopy Spread: 5.0 metres

Depending on the scale of works Council will require various degrees of information to assess an application. An example of minimal assessment that should be undertaken is:

  • Site/survey plan depicting vegetation proposed to be harmed overlayed with features such as building envelopes and approved buildings
  • Vegetation mapped for all native trees 4 metres or more in height or 31.5 centimetres or greater in trunk circumference (measured 1.3 metres above the ground) including:
    • Identify any trees including those proposed to be removed and those to be retained
    • Details of species classifications, locations and significance (if known)
    • Approximate height, circumference of trunk at 1.3 metres above ground and canopy spread of trees
    • Identify any trees with nests, hollows or other potential nesting/roosting values
  • Any proposed revegetation and/or rehabilitation on the site

State vegetation protection legislation

The Vegetation Management Act 1999 is Queensland's primary state legislation that protects remnant and regrowth vegetation on freehold land and state land, as well as certain non-remnant vegetation on state land.

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) administer the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

If you would like to know whether you need a permit to clear vegetation under this state legislation, contact DNRM on 13 74 68 or visit the DNRM website.

Logan Environmental Offsets Policy (vegetation offsets)

The purpose of the Logan Environmental Offsets Policy is to assist with the implementation of the Biodiversity areas overlay code Logan Planning Scheme 2015, providing an acceptable solution for development involving clearing of protected vegetation and by quantifying and calculating environmental offsets for unavoidable impacts of development.

For further advice regarding offsets in Logan please see the Environmental Offsets Fact Sheet (PDF 105 KB).