(1) Native vegetation must not be cleared except in accordance with:(a) a development consent granted in accordance with this Act, or(b) a property vegetation plan.(2) A person who carries out or authorises the carrying out of clearing in contravention of this section is guilty of an offence and is liable to the maximum penalty provided for under section 126 of the EPA Act for a contravention of that Act.(3) It is a defence in any proceedings for an offence against this section if it is established that the clearing was permitted under Division 2 or 3 or was excluded from this Act by Division 4.
For the purposes of the EPA Act, the Minister is the consent authority for any development application made under that Act for any clearing of native vegetation that requires development consent because of this Act.
(1) If development consent is, because of this Act, required to clear native vegetation, Part 4 of the EPA Act applies to the granting of the development consent, subject to this Division.(2) In determining an application for development consent under this Act, the Minister is to have regard to any relevant provisions of catchment action plans of catchment management authorities, and to other matters required by the regulations.(3) Development consent for broadscale clearing is not to be granted by the Minister unless the clearing concerned will improve or maintain environmental outcomes.(4) If the clearing of any native vegetation has the benefit of biodiversity certification under Division 4 of Part 7 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and also the benefit of biodiversity certification under Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994:(a) an application for development consent for clearing is not required to be accompanied by a species impact statement or statements (as would otherwise be required under section 78A of the EPA Act), and(b) the Minister is not required to consult with the Minister administering the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Minister administering the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (as would otherwise be required under section 79B of the EPA Act).
(1) The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following:(a) clearing principles or other matters to which the Minister must or may have regard in determining an application for development consent under Part 4 of the EPA Act,(b) the exclusion of matters required to be considered under Part 4 of the EPA Act,(c) the circumstances in which broadscale clearing is to be regarded as improving or maintaining environmental outcomes for the purposes of development consent,(d) the circumstances in which development consent for clearing is not to be granted,(e) the keeping of a public register by the Director-General relating to development consents granted by the Minister under this Act and applications for such consents.(2) The regulations may also make provision, consistent with Part 4 of the EPA Act, for or with respect to the determination of applications for development consent for development comprising:(a) the clearing of native vegetation, and(b) any other form of development that requires development consent pursuant to an environmental planning instrument.
Any such regulation has effect despite anything in this Part.
Part 5 of the EPA Act does not apply to any clearing carried out in accordance with this Part, and any such clearing is not an activity for the purposes of Part 5 of the EPA Act.
If native vegetation is, or is about to be, cleared in accordance with:(a) development consent granted in accordance with this Act, or(b) a property vegetation plan,that clearing cannot be prohibited, restricted or otherwise affected by a provision of any environmental planning instrument made after the consent was granted or the plan was approved (as the case requires).