If clearing of native vegetation is proposed and the clearing is not eligible for an exemption, then a clearing permit is required.
In accordance with section 20 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has been delegated authority for the administration of applications to clear native vegetation for mineral and petroleum activities regulated under the Mining Act 1978, the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967, the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969, the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982, and activities under State Agreements administered by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, in Western Australia.
Please note that if the land on which clearing is proposed includes any areas, which are not covered by either mineral or petroleum tenure granted under one of the abovementioned Acts, a State Agreement Act, or by a Crown Lease issued pursuant to a State Agreement Act, the application should be submitted to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) for assessment.
DWER has published a series of guidelines related to native vegetation protection, including a guideline to Exemptions from the requirement for a clearing permit.
DWER has introduced a new cost recovery model for environmental regulation, including fees for clearing permit applications. The fee model reflects a partial cost-recovery approach that commenced on 1 July 2019. More information about the new fees is available in the Clearing fees FAQs.
Types of clearing permits
There are two types of clearing permits which can be applied for under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. These are the Area Permit and the Purpose Permit.
Under section 51E of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, an area permit can only be applied for by an applicant who is the owner of the land, likely to become the owner of the land or where an applicant is undertaking clearing on behalf of the owner of the land and has written authority to do so. An area permit provides for clearing of defined areas specified in the permit. Area permits are generally approved for a default period of two years.
A land owner can include person(s) who hold a certificate of title; are a public authority that is responsible for the care of the land; or who is the lessee of crown land.
In terms of mineral and petroleum activities, an area permit is only applicable to native vegetation clearing conducted on General Purpose Leases and Mining Leases and Crown Leases which are deemed under section 51A of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 to confer rights of land ownership. For native vegetation clearing on other mineral and petroleum tenure, a purpose permit will be required.
Under section 51E of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, a purpose permit can be applied for by an applicant who is not the owner of the land which will be cleared but has authority under a written law or permission to access the land to conduct the clearing. Purpose permits are for clearing of different areas from time to time for a purpose specified in the permit. Purpose permits are generally approved for a default period of five years.
The clearing assessment process conducted for both area permits and purpose permits is the same.
Types of clearing permits applicable to tenures under the WA Mining Act 1978 and various WA Petroleum Acts
|Mineral tenure||Area permit||Purpose Permit|
|General purpose lease||Applicable||Applicable|
|Prospecting licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Miscellaneous licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Exploration licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Retention licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Petroleum tenure||Area permit||Purpose Permit|
|Access authority||Not available||Applicable|
|Drilling reservation||Not available||Applicable|
|Exploration permit||Not available||Applicable|
|Pipeline licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Production licence||Not available||Applicable|
|Retention lease||Not available||Applicable|
|Special prospecting authority||Not available||Applicable|
Access the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Clearing Permit System and map viewer.
Download Spatial Data for Environmentally Sensitive and Schedule 1 Areas from the Shared Land Information Platform.