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Allowable activities relating to rural infrastructure

The Land Management Framework includes a range of allowable activities for landholders wanting to clear native vegetation for the construction, operation and maintenance of rural infrastructure.

Overview

The Local Land Services Act 2013 outlines the eligible rural infrastructure and clearing distances in the Western, Central and Coastal Zones for Category 2 - regulated rural land and for Category 2 - vulnerable regulated land and Category 2 - sensitive regulated land.

Rural infrastructure is defined as a building, structure or work that is used for the purposes of, or in connection with, an activity that is being carried out in a regulated rural area of the State but only if the activity does not require development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Clearing undertaken for any allowable activity must be undertaken either by you as the landholder or someone on your behalf, unless specifically stated otherwise. All other required statutory approvals must be obtained before clearing for a work, building or structure.

There are three (3) Allowable Activity Zones in NSW, the Western, Central and Coastal Zones. The maximum clearing distances for allowable activities are different for each zone.

Where land is classed as Category 2 – vulnerable regulated land or Category 2 – regulated sensitive land, allowable activities are limited and reduced maximum clearing distance applies.

Rural infrastructure in the Western and Central Zones

In Western and Central Zones clearing for rural infrastructure includes (but is not limited to):

  • fences
  • roads and tracks
  • irrigation channels and pipelines
  • stock or domestic water supply pipelines
  • soil conservation earthworks
  • cut lines for stock movement
  • bore drains or drains to water storages
  • telephone lines or cables
  • power lines or cables or areas for movement of large machinery
  • shearing, machinery, grain, hay or similar sheds
  • stock handling facilities
  • dams, ground tanks, bores, pumps, tanks and water points
  • windmills.

Rural infrastructure in the Coastal Zone

In the Coastal Zone clearing for rural infrastructure is allowed for:

  • permanent boundary fences
  • permanent internal fences
  • roads and tracks
  • shearing or machinery sheds
  • tanks, dams, pipelines, bores, pumps, water points
  • stockyards and windmills.

Rural infrastructure on small holdings

On small holdings clearing for the following types of rural infrastructure is allowed for:

  • permanent boundary fences
  • permanent internal fences
  • roads and tracks
  • pipelines, bores, dams, pumps, tanks and water points
  • windmills
  • stockyards
  • buildings other than habitable buildings.

Rural infrastructure on vulnerable and sensitive land

On Category 2 - vulnerable regulated land and Category 2 - sensitive regulated land, clearing for the following types of rural infrastructure is allowed for:

  • permanent boundary fences
  • permanent internal or temporary fences
  • farm track, if the track is necessary for access and the route of the track minimises clearing

Maximum clearing distances for rural infrastructure

You must only clear the minimum amount of vegetation necessary to build and maintain rural infrastructure.

The maximum distance of clearing for rural infrastructure in each zone and on small landholding is as follows:

ZoneClearing distance

Western zone

40 metres

Central zone

30 metres

Coastal zone 15 metres

15 metres

Small holdings (in any zone)

12 metres

Vulnerable and sensitive regulated land

6 metres

The maximum distances above apply even if part of the clearing has been carried out by an adjoining landholder.

The maximum distance of clearing of native vegetation includes:

  1. in the case of linear infrastructure - the total width of clearing authorised for the infrastructure, or
  2. in the case of fixed point infrastructure - the maximum distance of clearing that is authorised measured from the perimeter of the infrastructure.

More information

To find out more about native vegetation and your options under the Land Management Framework:

  • contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299
  • email slm.info@lls.nsw.gov.au
  • go to lls.nsw.gov.au/slm
  • call in to your nearest Local Land Services office and ask for a Sustainable Land Management officer.

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