Tree clearing on private property
  • Last updated:
  • 28 Sep 2020

Trees contribute to the health, character, and identity of our communities. They shade, cool and balance our built environment. They also provide vital habitat for our native animals and plants.

Some vegetation is protected from being cleared in our region. This includes vegetation and trees on your property.

Find out if your property has protected vegetation. Refer to the vegetation management code within the planning scheme.

You must get a permit from council to remove protected vegetation. This includes:

  • cutting down trees
  • chopping into or damaging the trunk of a tree
  • pruning to the extent that the tree is likely to die, or
  • clearing of plants within under storey areas (below the tree canopy).

To apply to remove protected vegetation, submit a completed DA form 1 to council.

For more information, refer to:

Protected vegetation

It is an offence to damage or remove certain protected trees and areas of vegetation on private property. Penalties may apply.

Vegetation may be protected by:

  • vegetation management code within the planning scheme
  • covenants 
  • biodiversity, waterways and wetlands overlay code
  • drainage easements
  • development approval conditions
  • State planning assessment provisions including koala habitat areas.

 You may need a permit from the Department of Environment and Science, if your property has areas of:

  • revegetation as part of a condition of approval or formal offset, 
  • intact native bush, or 
  • heath land.

Protection of all marine plants; such as mangroves, falls under Queensland's Fisheries Act 1994. For more information visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

Exemptions

You don't need a permit from council if: 

  • clearing is associated with a building approval - once it has been submitted to council and the total amount of clearing does not exceed 600m2, or
  • clearing as conditioned within a development approval for operational works.

You may be able to undertake other clearing to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. You should notify the QLD State Government before starting to clear.

Special provisions apply to clearing for fire management. Make sure you follow the requirements of the State Government accepted development vegetation clearing code.

Neighbouring trees and overhanging branches

Trees located on property boundaries are subject to the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011. The Act:

  • provides advice and choices to help resolve disputes about trees i.e. overhanging branches, and
  • states proper care and maintenance of a tree is the responsibility of the owner of the tree.

More information

If you are concerned about trees or vegetation being cleared on private property, please complete a request for service form in MyCouncil.

For more information contact council's development services