HG Alert: Clearing ban extended for three months - Jun 2009

The moratorium period on clearing endangered regrowth vegetation, which began on 8 April 2009 and was set to end on 7 July 2009, has been extended for a further three months. This extends the period preventing the clearing of particular endangered regrowth and riparian vegetation across the State to 7 October 2009.

Our previous HG Alert: Moratorium on Clearing of Endangered Regrowth discussed the ramifications and consequences of the Vegetation Management (Regrowth Clearing Moratorium) Act 2009 on landowners, in particular graziers and developers. As outlined in the Alert, the Act legislates against the clearing of over one million hectares of land, including mapped endangered regrowth vegetation, in rural areas, and all native vegetation within 50 metres of a mapped watercourse in priority reef catchments of the Mackay/Whitsundays, Wet Tropics and Burdekin.

The moratorium has been extended to allow the Government more time to analyse the economic and environmental impact measures that may need to be implemented at the end of the moratorium period. The moratorium cannot be extended further under the Act as it stands. We understand that the Department of Environment and Resource Management is working towards having the final regulatory provisions in place by 7 October 2009. Particular attention is being paid to the appropriate mechanism to address the clearing of endangered regrowth where it is for an urban purpose in an urban area.

We recommend that property owners identify the impact of the moratorium on their property as soon as possible. Land owners can visit the DERM website to create a map showing the areas affected by the moratorium.