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April 2016


Native vegetation in South Australia is protected by the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and the Native Vegetation Regulations. The Native Vegetation Council (NVC) is established under The Act as an independent body for the preservation and enhancement of the State’s native vegetation.


Reforms being considered

Protecting native vegetation and enabling development is a fine balance, and we're hoping to strike it in the reform program currently under way.

The new policy and guide for Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) were released for public comment in December 2015.

Alongside these, the NVC also sought comments on three new manuals for assessing native vegetation: Scattered Tree Assessment ManualBushland Assessment Manual and; Rangeland Assessment Manual.

Check out our story on the reforms under way for the full background.

What's happening now?

Submissions were received from across the state from individuals and organisations. These have all been very useful to the NVC. Comments varied highly from supportive to critical and from broad overarching considerations to technical and specific issues.

We know that some reoccurring or contentious issues warrant more work, and these are now being looked at by the NVC using your ideas. It's likely that we'll be coming back to you to see how well these improvements and amendments address your concerns.

Thank you for your energy and effort into helping us get these right. We are working towards having them finalised by the end of 2016.

Any questions?

Please contact Adam Schutz, Native Vegetation Management Unit, by writing to adam.schutz@sa.gov.au

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A screenshot of the new look Native Vegetation website.


Finding information online just got easier. Our new look website lets you choose the category you're interested in and then guides you through what you'd like to do.

We will be continuing to update the site while it's live, so check back regularly.

Visit the new Native Vegetation website.

Planning and development webpages

We're working with local councils in areas where the Native Vegetation Act applies to link their websites to our new pages on clearing when building or subdividing.

This will encourage builders already engaged in the Development Act process to find out more about native vegetation and our role in the process. We want to help people plan better for how they can develop and at the same time protect their native vegetation.

Feedback and ideas welcome

If you have any ideas for our new website please contact Russell Seaman, Manager Native Vegetation Management Unit, by writing to russell.seaman@sa.gov.au

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Rawnsley Park Station in the Flinders Ranges has entered into a Heritage Agreement to protect the diverse vegetation of Rawnsley Bluff. Source: www.rawnsleypark.com.au/experiences/bushwalking-trails


In our recent survey of NVC eNews readers, you told us that Heritage Agreement applications are taking too long to be processed. We would like to explain.

Entering into a Heritage Agreement is a big undertaking; it's an ongoing legally binding agreement so it's a huge deal.

Steps to creating a Heritage Agreement

Depending on complexity, the steps to establish a Heritage Agreement can take some time:

  1. Application is received by the NVMU and allocated to a Native Vegetation Officer.
  2. A title check is made and an aerial photograph obtained.
  3. The application is assessed for conservation significance.
  4. If the biological value of the area is high, the NVC advises the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation to enter into the Heritage Agreement.
  5. The boundaries of the agreement area are defined by sections or by a specially prepared registered plan.
  6. The Heritage Agreement is registered on the title of the land.

Large number of applications!

We keep being swamped with Heritage Agreement applications with about 100 applications at various stages of completion. Departmental restructures have also impacted our capacity to respond.

Whilst we love and encourage applications, it is now taking longer for us to process them and there will be a significant period to wait for the final paper work to hit your mail box.

Our aim this year is to complete the backlog of applications and carefully consider how we support this important program in the future. Heritage Agreements are a wonderful way for you to do your own private conservation – and we applaud each and every applicant.

We’re constantly looking for ways to improve this process, and speed it up – so please get in touch with any ideas you might have.

Applications welcome

Contact the Native Vegetation Management Unit to discuss your potential Heritage Agreement. Other than the feel-good factor, reasons to pursue an agreement include being released from some rates and taxes on the agreement land.

It’s worth the wait and you will be joining over 2,000 other South Australians who are protecting our landscape. A Heritage Agreement will protect vegetation well into the future, even if you sell your property. It’s a great way to leave your legacy.

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