Native vegetation management
Reducing the amount of vegetation around your property is a good way to reduce the fuel a bushfire needs to burn.
However, there are limits to what you can clear without permission.
Rules have been introduced to help manage bushfire risks and protect lives and property, while minimising the impacts on native vegetation, animals and their ecosystems.
Find the answers to native vegetation clearance frequently asked questions.
This Guide, which has been developed by the South Australian Government, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS), and the Native Vegetation Council, outlines the actions you may take to manage native vegetation to reduce the impact of bushfires.
Rules for native vegetation
Bushfire is a real risk for all South Australians and you can't predict when a bushfire will strike. But your chances of survival are increased if you are prepared.
The State Government, CFS and Native Vegetation Council and Local Councils are working together to protect life and property, while still recognising the value of native vegetation.
New rules are now in place to make it easier for you to be better bushfire prepared. Follow the 7 simple steps to prepare your property today.
As part of your overall bushfire preparedness, you should consider clearing your property of native grasses, shrubs and small trees where required.
A suite of simple and user-friendly publications has been developed which clearly communicate these new rules.
What is the new process?
- Decide what type of action you wish to undertake to manage native vegetation on your property for bushfire safety purposes. Need assistance? Refer to the Decision-Making Matrix.
- If further approvals are required, download the application form.
- Fill out the sections of the applications form that relate to the activity you wish to undertake.
- Submit your application form to your local CFS Regional Office via fax, post or in person.
- On receipt of your form, the CFS will contact you to discuss your application and if necessary meet you on-site for an inspection.
- The CFS will then advise you of the outcome of your application.
Native Vegetation Management Decision-Making Matrix
|Reason?||What can be done?||Is approval needed?|
|To protect a building||You can reduce, modify or remove native vegetation within 20m of a building (including overhanging limbs). Significant trees in the 10m – 20m from a building will require approval to remove.||No|
|You can modify or remove native vegetation further than 20m from a building to reduce fuel loads.||Yes|
|To protect a structure||You can reduce, modify or remove native vegetation within 5m of a structure (including overhanging limbs). Significant trees will require approval to remove in this 5m.||No|
|You can modify or remove native vegetation further than 5m from a structure to reduce fuel loads.||Yes|
|To reduce fuel strategically||Fuel loads can be strategically reduced or modified on any private or public land.||Yes|
|To construct a fuel break||You can remove vegetation to construct a fuel break up to 5m wide.||No|
|In some regions you can remove native vegetation to construct a fuel break up to 7.5m wide (see below for a list of regions).||No|
|On a property used for primary production, you can remove native vegetation to construct a fuel break up to 20m wide.||Yes|
|You can remove native vegetation to construct fuel breaks greater than 20m wide.||Yes|
|To construct fire access tracks||You can remove native vegetation to construct fire access tracks that are consistent with the standards detailed below.||Yes|