Native vegetation is defined as plants that are indigenous to Victoria, including trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses.
Removal of native vegetation species (including lopping, trimming or pruning) typically requires planning permit approval under the East Gippsland Planning Scheme, unless an exemption applies. Unauthorised clearance of native vegetation is illegal under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
The Victorian Government’s policy for native vegetation is outlined in the Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. This is an incorporated document in all Victorian Planning Schemes. East Gippsland Shire Council must consider this when assessing proposals to clear vegetation.
The native vegetation control regulations have a range of exemptions in the East Gippsland Planning Scheme. See Clause 52.17 (Native Vegetation) of the Scheme for further information.
The Scheme provides for vegetation protection in some areas, and there may also be agreements or covenants on land titles relating to vegetation protection. Before removing or trimming native vegetation, you should contact Council’s Planning Department on 5153 9500 to determine exactly what controls apply to your land before starting vegetation removal as a planning permit may be required.
For more information view the Victorian Government website on native vegetation.
Council-owned or managed land includes many roadsides, parkland and foreshore reserves in urban areas. Please gain consent before removing vegetation on someone else's land. For Council land, you need written consent before any vegetation is removed (and notify us as soon as practicable after the event if it was an emergency).
View information on recommended species and find links to more detailed advice.
Council's Revegetation Species Guide is a basic list of common East Gippsland plants for revegetation projects. Also available is an indigenous tree species list and a native (but not locally indigenous) tree species list. These trees and shrubs are suitable for revegetation as they're unlikely to become weeds.
Useful local revegetation links:
Some of the local nurseries that may be able to supply native vegetation species, include:
11 Thomas Road, Newmerella
Phone: 0410 006 447 or (admin) 0410 025 529
Phone: (03) 5157 8325
Mobile: 0407 852 599
260 Andersons Lane, Bairnsdale
Phone: (03) 5152 2100
Fax: (03) 5152 1367
69 Sebastopol Hill Road, Omeo
Phone: (03) 5159 1276
Mobile: 0428 591 276
Dow Road, Valencia Creek
Phone: (03) 5145 4468
57 Paynesville Road, Paynesville
Phone: (03) 5156 7466
Mobile: 0412 560 338
115 Racecourse Road, Lindenow
Phone: (03) 5157 1650
Mobile: 0427 647 290
Open by prior arrangement
Stephen and Cindy McMahon
70 Perry Street, Orbost
Phone: (03) 5154 1122
Mobile: 0423 169 635
Please contact us if you would like to be added or removed from the list.
Our Roadside Vegetation Strategy sets the scene for the management of vegetation on rural roadsides. We are responsible for managing some 3600 km of roadside in a sustainable manner.
The strategy identifies our obligations and guides activities to ensure that our roadsides are well managed.
The Roadside Vegetation Strategy intends to:
Each year we clear vegetation away from powerlines on Council roads.
Our process for this, including how we inform affected residents, is outlined in our Electric Line Clearance Management Plan.
Vegetation is a valuable asset to our community, providing measurable benefits in both our urban and rural environments. Vegetation plays an important role in aesthetics, climate control, habitat, physical screening and land values.
The municipality of East Gippsland Shire has vegetation of local, state, national and international significance. Council is committed through its planning scheme to the preservation and protection of significant native, indigenous and introduced vegetation.
This commitment is outlined in our Urban Tree Management Procedure 2021-2023.
For information on street tree planting, head here.
Native vegetation in Victoria is protected by law unless an exemption applies or approval for removal of the vegetation (such as a planning permit) has been obtained. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
East Gippsland Shire Council plays a key role in ensuring that the flora that makes our shire special is protected. Vegetation removal is controlled across the shire. So, before you remove, destroy or lop vegetation, check if there are planning controls on the property.
To determine if you need a planning permit, visit mapshare.vic.gov.au/vicplan and enter your site address.
A planning permit is not required to remove vegetation that has been directly planted, except if planted or managed with public funds.
On properties sited in a designated bushfire-prone area (BPA), or in a bushfire management overlay (BMO), trees within 10m of a building used for accommodation and constructed before September 2009 may be removed without permit. Vegetation that is not a tree and is sited within 30m (BPA) or 50m (BMO) of this type of building may also be removed without a permit.
General exemptions from requiring a permit for removing, lopping or destroying native vegetation apply for:
• A tree that is dead and less than 40cm in diameter at 1.3m.
• Personal use of an owner or lawful occupier of land, where the tree is less than 40cm diameter at 1.3m height and is on a property larger than 10ha.
• The removal of the minimum extent necessary for installation or maintenance of a boundary fence to a maximum total width of 4m.
• Lopping or pruning where less than one third of the canopy is removed.
• Properties that measure less than 0.4ha.
• Areas of vegetation that are less than 10 years old and less than 2m tall.
If one of these exemptions apply, and there are no applicable overlays, no permit is required.
If there are overlays, the proposed works must also meet exemption regulations defined by that overlay to proceed without permit.
Your property may have a Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) on it, which applies to both native and exotic vegetation.
Proposed works on VPO properties must also meet the requirements for a general exemption. Permit exemptions apply for the removal, lopping or destruction of vegetation in a VPO, if the vegetation is:
• Less than 10 years old or 2m tall (does not apply in VPO1, VPO5, VPO6 and VPO7).
• To be removed to the minimum extent necessary for the maintenance of a boundary fence to a maximum width of 4m.
• Deemed unsafe and documented in a written report by a qualified arborist.
Your property may have an Erosion Management Overlay (EMO) on it, which applies to both native and exotic vegetation.
Proposed works on an EMO property must also meet general exemption requirements.
Permit exemptions apply for the removal, lopping or destruction of vegetation in an EMO, if the vegetation is:
• To be removed to the minimum extent necessary for the maintenance of a boundary fence to a maximum of 4m.
• To be lopped or pruned where less than one-third of the canopy is removed.
• For reasonable amounts for personal use.
• On residential property less than 0.4ha with a slope of less than 20 degrees.
There are various Environmental Significance Overlays (ESOs) in East Gippsland, with different exemptions applicable.
If your property has an ESO it is recommended to seek further advice from a town planner regarding permit requirements to lop, remove or destroy vegetation.
No vegetation is allowed to be removed on Council-owned land or a road reserve without Council approval.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of exemptions from obtaining a permit to remove, lop or destroy vegetation. It is the responsibility
of the landowner to obtain permits where required.
Our shire covers 10% of Victoria, so we rely on everyone in our community to help us maintain our roadsides, keep them safe, and protect our flora and fauna.
If you spot a plant pest, disease or weed outbreak, illegal dumping or more, contact us on 5153 9500.