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December 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.


Are you able to provide a large offsetting area in the Mount Lofty Ranges? Funding will soon be available to proponents able to provide a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) offset for a clearance that recently took place near Mount Barker.

The ‘SEB Grants – Red Gum Woodland, Mount Lofty Ranges’ Funding Round is due to open in January 2017, with projects to be allocated to successful applicants by June 2017. There will be two stages: an expression of interest (EOI), then full application.

If you are thinking about putting in an EOI, start planning your project and talking to your project partners now. The EOI period will only be open for six weeks.

Project ideas must consider the Biodiversity Offsetting principles in the Policy for SEB under the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and Native Vegetation Regulations 2003.

Specific principles that need to be considered

  • The SEB area should directly improve the condition, protection and/or extent of native vegetation
  • It should be established over a clearly defined area
  • It should not be in a location likely to be subject to future disturbances
  • Each block in the area should be a minimum of 30 metres wide for at least 90 per cent of the length, and 3 hectares or greater in area.

To find out more, write to nvip.dewnr@sa.gov.au.

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Red gum flowers remind us of Christmas (source: Pixabay)


Happy holidays to all our readers. We hope you have a fantastic break and thank you for your ongoing support and interest.

Many of you might be interested to know some interesting statistics from the 2015-16 year at the NVC.

Clearances and SEB offsets

  • 231 clearance applications were approved, which included 1355 hectares of native vegetation plus 1632 trees. The unusually high number of trees was due to the Bald Hills Road Interchange (620 trees) and the Belair Rail Line vegetation maintenance (321 trees) projects.
  • SEB offsets to ensure no net loss against the above clearances included the management or restoration of nearly 220 hectares of native vegetation, plus payment into the Native Vegetation Fund. New projects will be delivered in 2017 to ensure that past clearances will be offset.
  • DEWNR conducted 21 prescribed and ecological burns totalling 3210 hectares.

Heritage Agreements

11 Heritage Agreements were approved by the Minister. Nearly $85,000 was provided to five Heritage Agreements that were affected by wildlife to install over 17 km of fencing. This will protect 2103 hectares of native vegetation from stock.


The NVC continued to support 56 Roadside Vegetation Management Plans and approved two new plans. Road reserves often contain the only significant remnants of native vegetation in rural South Australia.


  • 140 reports of alleged illegal clearance were received by the Investigation and Compliance Unit.
  • 44 reports were considered to either not require any further action or be exempt from the Regulations.
  • 31 reports were detected through the Change Detection Program.
  • Compliance functions are now being supported by the Natural Resource Management regions. Regional staff have been nominated as Authorised Officers under the Native Vegetation Act and have completed induction training.

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Mark Bachmann, founder of the Nature Glenelg Trust  

Mark recently received the 2016 Conservation Council of SA Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection, for his efforts to restore and protect wetlands in the South East of SA.

His journey with wetlands in the South East began in the late 1990s when he undertook a first-class Honours project researching swamp antechinus in the region. This research helped consolidate the case for the purchase and creation of the first portion of Lake St Clair Conservation Park, around the time when he also secured ongoing employment with DEWNR in Mt Gambier.

Mark reflected on his time with DEWNR as being crucial in his personal journey, for allowing him to take chances and practice being creative, while working with some fantastic, dedicated people across the state. Outside of work, Mark and his family have also privately purchased bush properties to protect in the region over the past 2 decades.

But after 12 years with the SA Government, Mark decided it was time for a change. In mid-2011, he assembled a group of trusted colleagues and in January 2012 Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT) was launched; as a regional, cross-border NGO and with an emphasis on wetlands enshrined in the organisation’s charter.

For the past 5 years, the dedicated ecologists that work with Mark at NGT have been doing practical things like: working with farmers to restore wetlands; partnering with government to recover threatened species, and enabling the community to directly contribute to wetland restoration – through projects like the recent public fundraiser for Mt Burr Swamp, a proposed restoration site situated near Millicent.

The Mt Burr Swamp project is a great example of a new type of conservation partnership. By working with the Native Vegetation Council (government), OneFortyOne Plantations (private business) and the wider community, NGT successfully funded the purchase and secured the property, against the odds. The main swamp has already been restored, with some early positive results for key wetland species, and recovery of the rest of the site will follow over the years ahead.

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Over the past two years the Native Vegetation Regulations 2003 (the Regulations) have been reviewed to reduce the complexity around clearance approvals that had developed since 2003. This will improve overall clarity and achieve better environmental, social and economic outcomes from the management of native vegetation in SA.

Formal consultation on the draft Native Vegetation Regulations 2016 took place from July to August 2016. DEWNR received 66 submissions from government and non-government organisations and individuals, including 30 responses to a survey on the YourSAy website.

A report on our engagement activities is now available.

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We are rolling out training to regional staff to help them to be our eyes and ears on the ground. We want regional staff to be able to better respond to questions from the public about clearing and protecting native vegetation, and to assist with compliance. Training and information workshops have taken place at five regional locations across the state with over 150 DEWNR Natural Resources staff participating.

Ahead of the face to face workshops, participants were asked to learn about native vegetation via a new on-line training program that includes courses on native vegetation legislation, offsetting and the fundamentals of protection.

The training has equipped regional staff with the knowledge and workings of the Act, giving them confidence to be the first point of contact on native vegetation matters and enquiries from their local community.

The training has enabled regional staff with various roles to embrace the idea native vegetation protection being delivered by the regions.

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The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has completed on-ground works in the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park to provide an SEB for a clearance approved during the Seaford Rail Extension.

DPTI was required to achieve the offset by revegetating at least 10.46 hectares and undertaking bushcare activities to control invasive weed species in agreed areas. These requirements were not only met but well exceeded. 

Key achievements

  • 63,338 seedlings established
  • 11 ha of chenopod direct seeding equivalent to minimum 22,000 plants
  • 28.67 ha of land revegetated to project requirements
  • 3.8 ha of land revegetated through a DEWNR in kind complementary project
  • 139 ha of environmental weed control within the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park
  • 33 ha of environmental weed control within the Onkaparinga River National Park.
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