Approvals under Part V, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (the department) strategic plan outlines our commitment to providing information to meet stakeholder needs and ensuring a credible information base to which all sectors may contribute and share. We recognise the need for greater transparency and accessibility of information relating to native vegetation and changes in vegetation extent.
Native vegetation in Western Australia (WA) is managed through the mechanisms of several different government departments, local authorities and community groups, each with a different approach and purpose. Some mechanisms are legislative controls, some regulate sustainable use, and some establish systems that promote native vegetation improvement. More than 10 government departments and authorities play a role in managing activities that affect native vegetation, applying 16 pieces of legislation which have widely varying primary goals.
This page displays data relating to the clearing of native vegetation under the authority of clearing permits issued under Part V, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act). The information below does not include clearing authorised through Part IV of the EP Act or any other statutory process. It also does not include clearing undertaken in accordance with exemptions listed in Schedule 6 of the EP Act and the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 (Clearing Regulations), or statewide purpose permits. The department acknowledges that this represents only part of the overall picture for clearing of native vegetation in WA and is committed to expanding and improving the content as additional data becomes available.
The charts below show the number of hectares approved or refused as a result of decisions on clearing permit applications, since the introduction of the EP Act clearing provisions in 2004. The data includes permit applications assessed by both this department and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), as well as their predecessor agencies. The data does not reflect actual clearing undertaken as this can differ from the amounts authorised through a clearing permit.
For further information or to provide feedback for improvements to this webpage, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . This information can be provided in alternative formats on request.
Working the charts
1. Areas approved or refused for clearing (by agency)
This chart shows the amount of clearing (in hectares) approved or not approved through clearing permit applications since the commencement of the EP Act clearing provisions in 2004. The data can be broken down into clearing permit applications assessed by each agency (the department or DMIRS).
2. Areas approved for clearing (by industry group)
This chart breaks down the total clearing approved figures shown in chart 1 into more detailed industry groupings. The industries shown are defined by the table below:
|Agriculture Horticulture Forestry||Clearing for the purposes of timber harvesting, plantation, horticulture, grazing and pasture, cropping, drainage, pastoral diversification (including irrigated agriculture) and aquaculture. Includes associated activities such as fence line maintenance and clearing for fire mitigation purposes (for example, fire breaks and fire hazard reduction) where exemptions do not apply, and the applicant is not a local government authority or resources company.|
|Basic raw materials||Clearing for the purposes of extractive industry (for example sand and gravel extraction). Excluding clearing done by local government authorities for basic raw material extraction (listed under local government).|
|Local government||Clearing by local government authorities. This could include purposes such as road construction and maintenance, basic raw material extraction, building or structures and other infrastructure.|
|State development||Clearing for purposes of mineral production, mineral exploration, petroleum production, petroleum exploration and other state development (including state agreements).|
|Utilities||Clearing by utilities including Water Corporation, Western Power, Horizon Power, Main Roads WA, Verve Energy, Telstra, Alinta Energy, Westnet Rail and the Public Transport Authority. This could include purposes such as infrastructure construction and maintenance, railway construction, or road construction and maintenance. Also includes clearing by port authorities.|
|Other development||Other development means all other purposes not listed above, including buildings or structures, industrial and landscaping.|
3. Areas approved for clearing (by land division)
This chart shows the total approved clearing figures from chart 1, divided between the land divisions in which the clearing is approved to occur.
4. Areas approved for clearing (by land use zone)
This chart shows the number of hectares approved for clearing within the intensive and extensive land use zones of WA. The intensive land use zone is broadly defined as the south-west of the state which has experienced higher levels of historical clearing.
5. Areas approved for clearing (by the interim biogeographic regionalisation of Australia)
This chart shows the total approved clearing figures from chart 1, divided between the interim biogeographic regionalisation of Australian regions in which the clearing is approved to occur.
6. Areas approved for clearing (by local government area)
This chart shows the total approved clearing figures from chart 1, divided between the local government jurisdictions in which the clearing is approved to occur.
Note: This is clearing which is approved to occur within a local government boundary and is not limited to clearing undertaken by local government authorities.
7. Areas approved for clearing (by vegetation extent remaining within local government jurisdiction)
This chart shows the amount of clearing approved (in hectares) each year within areas with varying degrees of historical clearing, shown as a percentage of vegetation remaining compared with pre-European vegetation extents (calculated with reference to local government boundaries). Ecological communities with an extent below 30 per cent of pre-European vegetation extents are considered to be extensively cleared, as this is when species loss appears to accelerate exponentially at an ecosystem level.
Note: Remaining vegetation percentages are based on 2018 levels, so some inaccuracies are likely when comparing with clearing approvals dating back to 2004. The remnant vegetation data is compiled from a range of sources and should be considered a broad estimate of vegetation remaining within an area.
8. Remaining vegetation extent
The map below displays the extent of native vegetation across WA. The map has four layers available for display, comprising:
- Pre-European vegetation remaining within local government authority areas. To view this data, turn on the layer in the left-hand panel and select a local government area on the map. A pop-up box will provide the total area of the local government boundary (in hectares) and the percentage of mapped vegetation remaining compared with vegetation extents prior to European settlement.
- Pre-European vegetation remaining by vegetation type (Beard vegetation association), displays data on the remaining percentage of mapped vegetation associations. To view this data, turn on the layer in the left-hand panel and select an area coloured in green on the map (representing a mapped vegetation association). A pop-up box will display the vegetation type number and name, its remaining extent (in hectares), and the percentage of this vegetation remaining compared with its extent prior to European settlement.
- Environmentally sensitive areas (ESA). These are mapped occurrences of ESAs as defined in the Environmental Protection (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) Notice 2005. The presence of an ESA does not necessarily mean that an area has greater environmental value. Instead, it provides an indication that the exemptions from the requirement for a clearing permit contained in the Clearing Regulations may not apply. To view this layer, turn it on at the left-hand panel.
- Mapped native vegetation coverage. To view this layer, turn it on at the left-hand panel.
Disclaimer: The data presented on this page relating to clearing permit applications is sourced from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Clearing Permit System (CPS). Inconsistencies are known to exist between this data and other publicly reported information. These inconsistencies may be a result of one or more of the following: limitations and errors within CPS; differences in reporting format; and variations in methods of extracting and cleansing the data. Areas reported as approved or refused for clearing do not include areas authorised or not authorised through statewide purpose permits. The information on this page is provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in good faith to show general trends in decisions on clearing permit applications.