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Since Council launched the Call before U Cut campaign in 2011, there has been very positive feedback with Council responding to several calls from residents seeking advice on native vegetation clearing. The campaign was launched in response to a rise in illegal native vegetation clearing. Council wishes to remind landowners that naturally occurring native vegetation is protected and may require Planning approval before it’s removed. Council can provide advice, particularly on what exemptions apply to native vegetation removal. Contact Council on 03 5382 9777 before U Cut.
Horsham Rural City Council is concerned about the removal of native vegetation without Council consent within the municipality. The illegal disturbance of road reserves and clearing of roadside native vegetation is an offence under the Planning and Environment Act and the Traffic Management Act and both Acts carry a financial penalty and may also be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of Victoria.
Under the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning's 'Permitted clearing of native vegetation – Biodiversity assessment guidelines', a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation. Horsham Rural City Council's Planning Scheme Clause 52.17 allows Council to preserve, protect and conserve native vegetation, reduce the degradation on land and water and provide valuable habitat for plants and animals.
It is illegal to remove native vegetation without a permit unless an exemption applies. Before removing any native vegetation on private property and road sides, residents must first contact Horsham Rural City Council.