THE Victorian Government has released its review into native vegetation clearing regulations, which includes proposed changes that seek to place a greater emphasis on native vegetation protection by avoiding removal where possible.
Under the proposed changes, Victorians seeking permission to clear native vegetation would also be able to provide additional information about their property that would allow for a more accurate assessment and deliver potential cost savings.
Other proposed changes include making offsetting obligations for the removal of scattered trees fairer by acknowledging the habitat values of large trees and reducing the offset requirements for small trees, and increased monitoring and reporting on native vegetation losses and offsets.
According to the government, the proposed regulations provide for no net loss of native vegetation, part of the overall objective of a net gain for native vegetation.
The proposed changes will be delivered through changes to the relevant clauses of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all Victorian planning schemes.
The review involved extensive consultation, including a stakeholder reference group that provided valuable advice on the issues and improvements considered in the review.
More information is available from the Victorian Government's 'Engage Victoria' website at <https://engage.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation-review>. The public consultation period closes on 5 February 2017.