Following the implementation of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement on 1 August 2014 a number of councils have become concerned about the level of uncontrolled clearing occurring within their local government areas. The legislation was intended to provide home owners with greater protection from bushfire risk by allowing them to clear trees within 10 meters of the home without needing to seek council consent. This has prompted concerns from councils as to the extent to which these new laws will override the authority of local councils to protect endangered species of trees and vegetation.
A recent judgement made in the case of Johnson v Hornsby Shire Council has seemingly placed a limit on the scope of the 10/50 environmental law. The judgement upheld the council’s refusal to grant a development application on the grounds that it would allow the home owner to remove a number of endangered ‘Blue Gum’ trees under the 10/50 laws. The decision illustrates that the home owner will not have ‘free reign’ in regards to clearing vegetation and the council can have discretion over vegetation that is endangered.
For further detail regarding this court case please see the link below for Johnson v Hornsby Shire Council  NSWLEC 1215 –
MatthewsFolbigg Lawyers, Parramatta, are specialist environmental lawyers who are able to advise in relation to all matters relating to governance, planning and environmental law. Call an expert environmental lawyer today on 1800 300 308.