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Thinking of purchasing a property in the bush?

South East Local Land Services is the consent authority for the Native Vegetation Act 2003, which governs the clearing of native vegetation on rural land in NSW. If you are considering purchasing a property that is rural-zoned and thinking of clearing native vegetation, it’s a good idea to check if the activity requires approval under the Native Vegetation Act.

Each property is different and attributes such as size of the property, existing infrastructure, agricultural activity, proximity to waterways and land vulnerability to erosion are all the things that would need to be considered to determine whether a clearing activity is permitted. Keep in mind that ‘clearing’ applies to native trees, shrubs and groundcover.

To reduce the risk of a breach under the Native Vegetation Act (knowing or otherwise) you can get in touch with Local Land Services for advice as to whether the activity you wish to undertake requires approval.

South East Local Land Services can provide site-specific advice regarding native vegetation management on the property before you purchase. This may include:

  • Routine Agricultural Management Activities (RAMAs) that may be available on the property. RAMAs cover a wide range of day-to-day farming, safety and other rural and non-rural activities where clearing of native vegetation does not require approval under the Native Vegetation Act.
  • the likelihood of Threatened Ecological Communities occurring on the property and information regarding conservation values and biodiversity
  • whether the property may contain regrowth
  • whether the activity you wish to undertake will require a Property Vegetation Plan, a legally binding agreement between the landholder and South East Local Land Services.

It is always advisable to contact your local council to check if any additional approvals are required.

If you are considering clearing native vegetation on your rural property please contact Laura Canackle at South East Local Land Services on 02 6118 7708 or email