The following information should be lodged along with your clearing permit application. However, pre-consultation with the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's (DMIRS) Environment Division is highly recommended before lodging your application.
Clearing Permit application checklist
The clearing permit application must consist of:
- a completed application form, available from Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
- the prescribed fee
- a letter of authority, if a person is signing the application on behalf of a company or incorporated body (Section 51E of Environmental Protection Act 1986)
- a letter from the tenement holder authorising you to apply for a clearing permit on their tenement, (if the clearing is to be done on a tenement other than your own)
- a scaled map of the area proposed to clear (see Mapping Information Required)
- a description of the proposed activities
- additional information, as appropriate (see Assessment Information Required, below).
Under section 51E(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, DMIRS may decline to deal with an application to clear native vegetation, if the application is incomplete. Use the Clearing permit Application checklist above before submitting your application.
Mapping information required
Preferred format is with digital spatial data and the following properties:
- format - ESRI Shapefile
- geometry type - Polygon
- coordinate system - GCS GDA1994 (geographic)
- datum - Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994.
Whilst an ESRI Shapefile format is preferred, other formats such as Autocad (dxf), Microstation (dgn) and Mapinfo (TAB, MIF) can be provided. Please be aware that formats other than ESRI shapefile will need to be converted, which may cause a delay in the processing of your application.
Note: CDs, DVDs or thumb drives should be clearly labelled with proponent name and description of the contents.
The supplied shapefile should contain a polygon/s that represents the outer extent of the area/s in which the proposed clearing is to take place. If indicative locations of clearing within this outer extent can be determined, they should be provided in a separate map, but not as a shapefile.
The supplied polygon shapefile should contain only the extent of the area/s to be cleared.
If spatial information cannot be provided, a scaled map is required showing latitudes and longitudes.
Assessment information required
To assist with the assessment of your clearing permit application in an expeditious manner, it is highly recommended that detailed information is submitted with the clearing permit application. DMIRS is required to assess applications for clearing permits against the 10 'clearing principles', as defined in Schedule 5 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The 'clearing principles' broadly relate to the potential impacts of clearing on biodiversity, land degradation, and ground and surface water quality. The level of information required will be determined by the complexity of the application to be assessed, in conjunction with the risk to the receiving environment associated with the proposed activity.
- the size of the area to be assessed
- the techniques used to clear
- whether the area is of high biodiversity
- the purpose for which the application is intended such as exploration, mining, development and infrastructure.
Standard information recommended for the assessment of the application includes:
Aerial photographs and site photographs of the area proposed to be cleared.
- a Flora and vegetation survey. Detail should include:
- mapping of vegetation types/associations/communities, their condition, and their representation in a regional context. Photographs of each vegetation type to be cleared are also recommended
- declared rare and priority flora species present or likely to be present. Details should include the location/s and size of the population/s; the impact of the proposed clearing on the population/s: and the likely impact of the proposed clearing on the continued existence of the species.
- a fauna assessment. Detail should include:
- the fauna present or likely to be present, and their conservation significance
- an assessment of the significance of the vegetation and landform to be cleared, as a habitat for fauna; including mapping of any significant fauna habitats.
- a site overview, with a brief description of topography, landforms, soils and hydrology
- a summary and/or map of the proposed developments on the site
- a hydrological summary, which includes discussion of the likelihood of impact from the clearing on riparian vegetation, wetlands, watercourses, surface water or groundwater
- a vegetation degradation summary, which includes discussion of the likelihood of the spread of dieback disease and/or weeds
- a land degradation summary, which includes discussion of the likelihood of land degradation, including waterlogging, acidification, salinisation, deep subsoil compaction and erosion
- an outline of environmental management measures and rehabilitation practices that will be undertaken during and subsequent to the completion of the project. Existing Management Plans and Mining Proposals should be submitted, if they are relevant to the clearing proposal
- copies of any correspondence with the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) or other Government Agencies regarding the proposal
- A statement against each of the 10 'clearing principles' .
- Flora, vegetation and fauna surveys should be conducted at the appropriate time of the year and in accordance with the relevant EPA Guidance documents, available from the EPA website.
- Vegetation condition should be described using a recognised rating scale, eg. Keighery (1994).
- Determination of the likelihood of declared rare flora or priority fauna occurring within the area proposed to be cleared should be based on current knowledge of those taxa and the existing physical environment/known records/past history.
- Before conducting surveys, contact DBCA regional offices for advice.
Useful reference material
- CALM 2002. A Biodiversity Audit of Western Australia’s 53 Biogeographical Subregions in 2002.
- Environmental Protection Act 1986
- Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004
- Keighery, B.J. 1994. Bushland Plant Survey: A Guide to Plant Community Survey for the Community. Wildflower Society of WA (Inc.), Nedlands, Western Australia.
- EPA (2016) Technical Guidance. Flora and Vegetation Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment