Vegetation Protection

Council is currently working on a new planning scheme to cover the new Logan City area. Until this is completed, the management of trees and vegetation within Logan City continues to be administered under the different Planning Schemes for each area.

What vegetation is protected?

The following table identifies what vegetation is protected depending on the area you live in:

Vegetation overlays
Logan Gold Coast (excised area) Beaudesert (excised area)
VMA
Category 1 or Category 2
Blanket Cover All significant Trees
Does not show up as overlay
VMA
All significant Trees
Remnant veg Remnant veg Remnant veg
Buffer areas around mapped Wetland/Waterway
(refer to the relevant Planning Scheme for more detail)
120m from mapped waterway
Conservation overlay

In former Logan the clearing of vegetation is regulated under the Vegetation Management Area of the Logan Planning Scheme 2006. The Vegetation Management Area contains 19 districts that are divided into a Category 1 or Category 2 sub-district. In Category 1 sub-districts, all vegetation is protected while only significant trees are protected in Category 2 sub-districts. Consult the Vegetation Management Area User Guide for more information regarding the Vegetation Management Area.

All vegetation clearing applications in the 'old' Beaudesert (excised area) are still being assessed under the Nature Conservation Overlay and Catchment Management, Waterways and Wetlands Overlay of the Beaudesert Shire Planning Scheme 2007.

Likewise the management of trees and vegetation throughout 'old' Gold Coast (excised area) controlled area is directed by the Vegetation Management Code within the Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 Version 1.2, amended January 2010.

These codes are intended to guide the protection and management of vegetation which is located on freehold land within the city, to facilitate the sustainable development of the city and to ensure the protection of the city's biodiversity and ecological values, landscape character and amenity.

If you want to clear any vegetation that is protected you will require an Operational Works - vegetation Clearing approval, unless the clearing is considered to be "exempt clearing" of you are only "lopping" the vegetation.

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 Vegetation Management Area for which a development permit is not required. Specific terms and conditions apply to different districts and sub-districts of the Vegetation Management Area. A brief summary of exemptions is listed in the table below, however for a full description of exempted please refer to the planning scheme that covers your area or contact Customer Service at Logan City Council.

Vegetation protection
Logan* Beaudesert (excised area) Gold Coast (excised area)
Vegetation Management Area Overlay's Category 1 or Category 2 Overlay - mostly blanket coverage Blanket coverage (No overlay)
Exempt clearing from a house** 15m 25m 3m
Exempt clearing from a boundary fence 3m 3m 3m
Significant Tree 4m high or ≥ 40cm at 1m 4m high or ≥ 40cm at 1m 4m high or ≥ 40cm at 1.3m

* Applicable to districts 6-19.
** From the outer most point of the house closest to the tree, to the centre of the tree trunk.

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 and checklists.

Download the Vegetation Management Information Kit (PDF 6730 KB).

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
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 trees 4 metres or more in height or 40 centimetres or greater in trunk circumference (measured 1 metre 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 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 2013 (Vegetation Offsets)

The purpose of the Logan Environmental Offsets Policy is to assist with the implementation of the overall outcomes of the current Logan, Gold Coast and Beaudesert Planning Schemes, as an additional acceptable solution for development involving clearing of protected vegetation and by quantifying and calculating environmental offsets for unavoidable impacts of development.

Logan Environmental Offsets Policy 2013 (PDF 139 KB)