Tree Removal

The Snowy River LEP 2013 (clause 5.9 Preservation of trees or vegetation) identifies consent requirements for the ring barking, cutting down, top, lop or removal of trees or vegetation.

What Work Needs a Development Approval?
The following tree works require Council approval, in the form of development consent, to ensure the appropriate preservation and maintenance of trees or vegetation with aesthetic, environmental and cultural values.

Note: ‘Tree works’ are works affecting the form, structure or foliage of a tree including root cutting, crown lifting, reduction pruning, selective pruning, crown thinning, remedial or restorative pruning or complete tree removal.

Form: Application for Permit to Remove or Prune Trees

Development consent must also be obtained for tree works proposed to any of the following:

(a) any tree on ‘public land’ (as defined in the Local Government Act 1993) by any persons not authorised by Council.
(b) any hollow bearing trees
(c) any other tree with:
  • a height equal to or exceeding four (4) metres
  • a canopy width equal to or exceeding 4 metres[ll1] [t2] 
  • for a single trunk tree species, a trunk diameter equal to or exceeding one (1) meter at a height of one (1.3) meters from ground level[d3] 
  • for a multi trunk tree species, a combined trunk circumference (measured around the outer girth of the group of trunks) equal to or exceeding one (1) metre at a height of one (1) metre above ground level.
Exceptions to the Need for a Development Approval

 There are some cases where a development approval is not required and where Council is not even required to be notified of your intention to undertake tree works, these are in the following instances if the tree:
  • Is dying or dead, and is not required as the habitat of native fauna
  • Is a risk to human life or property
  • Has been approved to be removed under a Development Consent issued by Council
  • Is located in a fuel free zone as determined by Council’s Fire Control Officer and that tree represents a fire hazard
  • Exceptions under other legislation
  • In other cases whilst a development approval is not required you will need to provide Council with written notification before any tree work is carried out, providing information such as tree species, reasons for proposed works and digital photos. This is the case if you are carrying out:

(a) Tree works to undesirable species

(b) Minor or maintenance tree works, including:

  • Crown thinning by a maximum 10% of the existing canopy in any two year period
  • The pruning of deadwood more than 50mm in diameter
  • The removal of live branches to a height of 2.5 metres from ground level
  • Formative pruning of young trees and power line clearance, as defined in Australian Standard (AS 4373-2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees).
Note: for minor/maintenance works to a heritage item, in a heritage conservation area or in an Aboriginal place of heritage significance, Council must be notified of, and support in writing, the proposed activity before any work is carried out.

(c) The removal of any tree growing within two (2) metres of any building (excluding an outbuilding) measured horizontally from the closest point of the trunk at one (1) metre from ground level to the closest point of the vertical alignment of the building structure which may be the eave, guttering or fixed awning of the building.

(d) Tree works to give effect to a development consent that permits the pruning or removal of tree/s.

Note: if approval is given for the pruning and removal of tree/s as part of Development Consent, tree works can only be carried out when construction work physically and substantially commences.

(e) Tree works on public land owned by or under the care, control and management of Council and carried out by persons authorised by Council.

(f) Anything authorised by or under the State Emergence and Rescue Management Act 1989 or State Emergency Act 1989 in relation to an emergency and that was reasonably necessary in order to avoid an actual or imminent threat to life or property.

(g) Any emergency fire fighting or bush fire hazard reduction work within the meaning of the Rural Fires Act 1997 that is authorised or required to be carried out under that Act.

Note: applicants must refer to other legislation and policies for requirements and controls where relevant, including the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.