News | 22nd May, 2013

State adopting softer approach on land clearing

22 May 2013
Tom Arup, The Age
A decade-old goal to increase the amount of native vegetation across Victoria will be dropped as part of sweeping changes to the state's land clearing laws.
The reforms follow complaints from farmers, councils and landowners that the state's planning laws covering native vegetation are too onerous and costly.
Under the changes it will be easier for small projects – such as a farmer removing a handful of native trees – to do so and buy credits to offset it. The Victorian Farmers Federation welcomes the changes.
The overall aim of the laws will also change. The state's planning provisions set an objective to achieve a ''net gain'' in the extent and quality of native vegetation. But from September, that goal will be changed to: ''No net loss in the contribution made by native vegetation to Victoria's biodiversity.''
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