Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations

By on January 31, 2017

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager CMPA reports on the review of the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations – Sensible Protection of Sensitive Vegetation?

The Victorian Government  has  announced  (14 December 2016) that the review of the Native vegetation clearing regulations  has  been  completed.   The  implementation  of the proposed  changes will be through amendments  to the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) in addition to a program of actions. CMPA has made comment on the review through a workshop, a written submission (see Sand & Stone 86) and through  encouraging DEDJTR to also make a submission. Essentially the Victorian Government is proposing a tightening of the already unworkable native vegetation clearing regulations and has missed the opportunity  to overhaul the system. The extent of the proposed changes are minor and have failed to deal with the cumbersome and costly nature of the Regulations.

The Table below lists the originally proposed  Victorian Government’s improvements together with CMPA comments and the Victorian Government outcomes report proposal.

pg-14

 

Whilst the  need  to  protect  native vegetation  in Victoria is thoroughly understood, the CMPA is very concerned with the proposed  “improvements”  in that many will further escalate costs  to the extractive industry to the point of making the industry unviable.

The extractive industry is increasingly expected  to  provide ecological outcomes  on private land, for the benefit of the community, without compensation. The system as it is currently written is not designed to improve the quality of native vegetation but to protect at all costs (including social and economic) existing trees in the landscape.

Additionally, there is no recognition by Government that extractive sites are actively managed throughout their lifecycle for re-vegetation. Instead of a simple model of undertaking an assessment, native vegetation management is clouded in complexity, expense and is highly time-consuming. This would be demonstrated through a regulatory impact statement. Consideration should be given to having a flat rate per Ha for offsets and having DELWP source the offsets.

The  CMPA   will  endeavour  to   work   with   the   Victorian Government to sensibly protect sensitive vegetation.

Pg-13---Cann-Quarries---web

 

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