MBRC Planning Scheme - Environmental areas overlay

Under state government requirements, planning schemes must identify areas of environmental significance to maintain and enhance ecological corridors, priority species (koala) habitat and healthy waterways.

What is the Environmental areas overlay map?

The Environmental areas overlay map represents the region's most environmentally important areas recognised as Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) such as Ramsar Wetlands, Matters of State Environmental Significance (MSES) such as koala habitat and Matters of Local Environmental Significant (MLES) such as local priority species habitat. Combined, all of these values are important to the region.

Matters of environmental significance mapped in the Environmental areas overlay map are classified into one of two main categories: High Value Areas or Value Offset Areas.

High Value Areas represent high value matters of State or local significance. These matters are to be protected from development impacts and cannot be offset.

Value Offset Areas represent valued environmental matters of State and local significance where offsets may be allowed if values cannot be avoided or mitigated.

Environmental areas overlay example

High Value Area Value Offset Area
Matters of State environmental significance legend MSES - Matters of State Environmental Significance
Matters of Local environmental significance legend MLES - Matters of Local Environmental Significance
Wetlands legend MLES - Wetlands
Koala offsets legend MSES - Koala Offsets
Waterway buffer legend MLES Waterway Buffer
Wetland buffer legend MLES - Wetland Buffer

How do I find out if my property is mapped in this overlay?

If you are planning to clear native vegetation on your property, use My Property Look Up to check the overlay mapping.

Note: Environmental areas have been determined from state government mapping as well as independent environmental studies commissioned by Council to reflect local, state and commonwealth interests. The mapping is the latest information available to Council. Where evidence exists that mapping is not correct, persons should contact Council.

How does this affect my property?

The Environmental areas overlay map applies to property owners and residents wanting to clear native vegetation in High Value Areas or Value Offset Areas. Native vegetation clearing is only permitted for the purpose of establishing a dwelling house (within certain thresholds) or if a native clearing exemption applies. If an exemption does not apply, clearing is subject to council approval and environmental offsets may be required.

A native vegetation clearing exemption applies if:

  • clearing within an approved development footprint
  • clearing is necessary for emergency access (within approved buffer)
  • clearing is immediately required in response to an accident or emergency
  • clearing is necessary to remove risk to serious injury or damage to infrastructure
  • clearing is necessary to construct and maintain a property boundary fence (within approved buffer)
  • clearing is necessary for works and maintenance within an easement for public infrastructure or drainage purposes
  • clearing is in accordance with a bushfire management plan, submitted to and accepted by council
  • clearing of weed species, maintaining existing open pastures and cropping land, windbreaks, lawns or created gardens
  • grazing of native pasture by stock
  • native forest practice where exempt under the planning scheme.

If a native vegetation clearing exemption does not apply, clearing is then subject to council approval.

Can I clear native vegetation if I am not in a High Value Area or Value Offset Area?

Yes, except where the native vegetation is: