Vegetation protection

We value our native vegetation for the important role it plays across our landscape.

In Logan, we control vegetation clearing using 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 and native vegetation. This includes restricting vegetation clearing in protected areas.

Protected vegetation

Protected vegetation is classified in two ways:

  • primary vegetation – this protects all native vegetation (shown as light pink on the Vegetation management areas map)
  • secondary vegetation – this protects native trees that are greater than 4m tall or with a trunk circumference of 31.5cm or greater, measured at 1.3m from the ground (shown in light green on the Vegetation management areas map).

You can find out if there is protected vegetation on your property through the Logan PD Hub:

  • search for your property
  • click on the interactive mapping tool
  • on the map list to the left of the map, expand and turn on Overlays (Part 8)
  • click on 02 Biodiversity Areas Overlay to expand this group.
  • click on OM-02 Vegetation Management Areas.

Vegetation Clearing

Queensland legislation states that:

  • clearing of vegetation means to remove, cut down, ring-bark, push over, poison or destroy vegetation in any way (this includes 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 clearing vegetation

If you want to clear protected vegetation, you may need to get approval (an operational works – vegetation clearing approval).

You do not need to get approval for clearing vegetation if the vegetation complies with the exemptions outlined in the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 (Tables of assessment for the biodiversity areas overlay).

For a summary of vegetation clearing exemptions, please download Vegetation management factsheet (PDF 250 KB) or contact our team.

Lodging an application for vegetation clearing

To lodge an application to clear protected vegetation, please see Development applications, forms and lodgement.

The application must:

  • include the consent of the property owner or be lodged by the property owner
  • state the reasons for the proposed clearing
  • include a site plan with boundaries, buildings, driveways, easements, etc. and information about existing vegetation including
    • which trees will be cleared and which will remain
    • tree species and size (height, circumference 1.3m above ground, canopy spread)
    • any trees with nests, hollows or other nesting or roosting values
  • show any proposed revegetation or rehabilitation on the site.

For more information about clearing vegetation or applications to clear vegetation, please contact our team.

Environmental offsets

State Government Koala Protection Amendments

On 7 February 2020 the Queensland Government introduced the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation 2020.

You can view a copy of the Act on the Queensland Government website.

This major change in legislation will affect how the Planning Regulation 2017 manages and reduces the impact of development on koalas and their habitat.

It changes the process of how proposed vegetation clearing involving koala habitat is mapped and assessed.

Due to these changes, you should not rely soley on the offset estimate report.

If your development requires clearing of vegetation, please call us on 07 3412 3412 or email us at Council@logan.qld.gov.au for advice.

For more information about this reform, please visit the Queensland Department of Environment and Science website.

Environmental offsets

An environmental offset is where we ask a property owner for compensation for the environmental impacts of their development. This compensation may be for trees to be planted in place of trees that are removed, or a financial contribution to help revegetate other land.

An environmental offsets policy is included in the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 (Policy 3 – Environmental management). The policy identifies three types of environmental offsets:

  • restoration offsets – which usually apply to smaller developments where the impacts of development can be offset by planting trees on another area on the same lot
  • proponent driven offsets – which 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 that we approve as an offset
  • financial settlement offsets – which can apply to any development where there is no option to plant trees on the same lot and the developer prefers to pay an amount of money for us to revegetate alternative land.

Offsets are calculated by:

  • the size (in square metres) of native vegetation cleared in the primary vegetation management area
  • the number of native trees and native habitat trees cleared in the secondary vegetation management area.

You can find out if an offset applies to proposed clearing and ask for a financial settlement offset estimate though the environmental offset estimator in the Logan PD Hub. Please note that exemptions are not automatically excluded from the environmental offset estimate.

More information about offset calculations can be found in in Section 3.1.9 of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 (Policy 3 – Environmental management).

For more information, please download Environmental offsets factsheet (PDF 35 KB).

Exemptions from paying an offset

Environmental offsets will not apply to:

  • building a new dwelling house or dual occupancy on an existing lot if no more than 4000m2 of native vegetation is cleared
  • clearing vegetation which needs referral under the Planning Act 2016
  • clearing vegetation which is exempt under the Biodiversity areas overlay code.

Reducing the cost of an offset

You may be able to reduce the costs of environmental offsets by:

  • planting new trees on another part of the property
  • redesigning or moving the proposed clearing site to an area of lower ecological significance (areas shown in lighter green on the Ecological Significance Map)
  • if you are clearing individual trees, redesigning the proposed clearing site to keep as many trees as possible
  • reducing the size of the proposed clearing site
  • moving the proposed clearing site to avoid biodiversity or koala corridors and wetland or waterway buffers.

How we use funds collected as environmental offsets

We use 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 broken and isolated areas of vegetation
  • support environmental initiatives aligned to our River Recovery Program
  • increase our green space and provide opportunities for eco-friendly recreational activities.

State vegetation protection legislation

The Vegetation Management Act 1999 is state legislation that protects remnant and regrowth vegetation on freehold land and state land. It can also protect certain non-remnant vegetation on state land.

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) administers the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

To find out if you need a permit to clear state-protected remnant vegetation, please visit DNRME or call them on 13 58 34.

Relevant definitions

Native habitat tree

A tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia, with a trunk circumference of 220cm or more measured at 1.3m above ground level, or that contains a hollow.

Native tree

A tree, whether dead or alive, that is indigenous to Australia, greater than 4m in height or with a trunk circumference of 31.5cm or greater measured at 1.3m from the ground.

Native vegetation

A bush, shrub, grass or other vascular plant, including any part of a tree, bush, shrub, 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.

Regrowth vegetation

Vegetation that is not remnant vegetation as defined by the Queensland Government - Vegetation Management Act 1999.

Remnant vegetation

Vegetation defined as remnant vegetation by the Queensland Government - Vegetation Management Act 1999