The protection of vegetation in the City of Logan is administered through the Biodiversity areas overlay code of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015. The purpose of the code is to protect and enhance environmental values including wildlife habitat and movement; biodiversity corridors; native vegetation; and landscape values.
Protected vegetation in the city is classified into two categories:
- Primary vegetation (shown as light pink), protects all native vegetation;
- Secondary vegetation (shown as light green), protects native trees greater than 4 metres in height; or with a trunk circumference of 31.5 centimetres or greater measured at 1.3 metres from the ground.
To check if your property has protected vegetation, use the Logan Interactive Mapping tool
- Search for your property
- Turn on Overlays (Part 8)
- Click on 02 Biodiversity Areas Overlay
- Finally click on OM-02 Vegetation Management Areas
Clearing and lopping
Clearing of vegetation means to remove, cut down, ring-bark, push over, poison or destroy vegetation in any way including by burning, flooding or draining. It does not include lopping a tree or damage by stock.
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.
Exemptions to the clearing of vegetation
Clearing protected vegetation requires a development approval for operational works - vegetation clearing. This approval is not required if the clearing complies with the exemptions outlined in Tables 188.8.131.52.1 to 184.108.40.206.5 of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 version 1.1. A summary of exemptions are provided below:
- Clearing of 'native vegetation' can occur outside areas identified as Primary Vegetation Management areas, and clearing of 'native trees' can occur outside of areas identified as Secondary Vegetation Management areas
- Clearing of protected vegetation is exempt on lots less than 5000m2 unless the property is:-
- Clearing of protected vegetation is exempt when required for services or access to a development when limited to being:
- within an approved development envelope area;
- in accordance with an infrastructure agreement;
- the construction/maintenance of an above or underground utility service (<2 metres in width);
- for an access way to a dwelling or approved development envelope area (<5 metres in width);
- Clearing for the establishment or maintenance of a fire maintenance trail required by a condition of approval
- Clearing along a boundary fence (excluding a 'native habitat tree') can occur to the width of:
- 3 metres on a lot between one and five hectares;
- 5 metres 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 (i.e. dwelling); and the removal of native vegetation other than a 'native tree' from the outer zone (10 metres) as shown in Figure 220.127.116.11.1
- 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 18.104.22.168.2
- Clearing for the management and maintenance of native vegetation (other than native trees or native habitat trees) in a lawful garden or for mowing and slashing of grass or control of a problem species (i.e. Cadaghi or the Umbrella Tree).
An environmental offset is an action (such as tree planting) or a financial contribution that a property owner is asked to contribute to compensate for the environmental impacts of their development. Logan City Council has developed an environmental offsets policy which is contained with the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Policy 3 - Environmental management.
To find out whether offsets may be applicable to any clearing proposed as part of your development, please use the Environmental Offset Request function under the Property Info menu in the Logan Interactive Mapping tool. Please note, that exemptions are not automatically excluded from the Environmental Offset Request.
- Search for your property
- Turn on Aerial Photo
- Click on Property Info and select Environmental Offset Request
- Follow the steps
For further advice regarding offsets in Logan, please refer to the Environmental Offsets Fact Sheet.
Exemptions from paying an offset
An environmental offset under Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Policy 3 - Environmental Management will not apply to:
- The construction of a new dwelling house or dual occupancy on an existing lot is not required to provide an offset under Council's Environmental Offset Policy where no more than 4000m2 of native vegetation is cleared;
- Clearing vegetation which requires referral under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 may not require an offset under the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Policy 3 - Environmental management; and
- Clearing vegetation which is exempt under the Biodiversity areas overlay code.
The Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Policy 3 - Environmental management identifies three types of environmental offsets in Section 3.1.3:
- Restoration offsets usually apply to smaller developments where the impacts of development are compensated by planting trees on another area on the same lot;
- Proponent-driven offsets are usually appropriate for larger developments where there is no option to plant trees on the same lot, and the developer prefers to revegetate alternative land which is approved by Council as an offset;
- Financial settlement offsets can apply to both small and large developments where there is no option to plant trees on the same lot and the developer prefers to pay an amount of money for Council to revegetate alternative land.
How offsets are calculated
Generally offsets are calculated on the area (number of square metres) of native vegetation cleared in the Primary Vegetation Management area and on the number of native trees and native habitat trees cleared in the Secondary Vegetation Management area. The calculation of offsets is described in detail in Section 3.1.9 of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 Policy 3 - Environmental management.
Council's Environmental Offset Estimate function (part of the Logan Interactive Mapping tool) may be used to request an estimate of applicable Financial Settlement Offsets for a proposed Clearing Site (the area of vegetation proposed for clearing).
Reducing the cost of an offset
Offset costs can be reduced by:
- Planting new trees on an alternative part of the property (called a restoration offset) is a cheaper option than paying a Financial Settlement Offset;
- Redesigning or moving the proposed Clearing Site to any area of lower ecological significance (lighter green areas of the Ecological Significance Map);
- If clearing individual trees, redesign the proposed Clearing Site to retain as many trees as possible;
- Reduce the size of the proposed Clearing Site by, for example, reducing the length of the access road;
- Development in a Biodiversity or Koala Corridor and/or a Wetland or Waterway buffer significantly increases the offset cost even if there are no native trees or native habitat trees in the proposed Clearing Site. Moving the proposed Clearing Site to avoid these areas will reduce the offset cost. These areas are shown in Maps 9 and 10 of the Ecological Significance Map or these layers can be viewed by turning on the relevant layers in 'Overlays (Part 8)' of the mapping portal where the proposed Clearing Site was submitted.
How offset money is spent by Council
Council uses the offset funds exclusively to purchase and rehabilitate degraded land to:
- Replace environmental values unavoidably lost during development;
- Increase and improve koala and other significant species habitat;
- Improve connectivity between fragmented and isolated areas of vegetation;
- Support environmental initiatives aligned to Council's River Recovery Program; and
- Increase Logan's greenspace and opportunities for eco-friendly recreational activities.
Lodging an application for vegetation clearing
Applications for the proposed removal of vegetation applications must be submitted by the owner(s) of the subject property or submitted by a third party with owner's consent enabling others to apply on their behalf. Applications must be made on the prescribed IDAS forms 1 and 6, which are available from Council offices or at Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.
Applications must state the 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 further information 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.
Native habitat tree
A tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia:
- with a trunk circumference of 220 centimetres or more measured at 1.3 metres above ground level; or; that contains a hollow.
A tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia:
- greater than 4 metres in height; or
- with a trunk circumference of 31.5 centimetres or greater measured at 1.3 metres from the ground.
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.
Primary Vegetation Management Area
An area of the Biodiversity areas overlay map–OM–02.01 in which all native vegetation is protected.
Secondary Vegetation Management Area
An area of the Biodiversity areas overlay map–OM–02.01 in which all native trees and native habitat trees are protected.
Vegetation that is not remnant vegetation as defined by the Vegetation Management Act 1999.
Vegetation defined as remnant vegetation by the Vegetation Management Act 1999.