Monitoring and enforcement

Both governments and proponents have responsibility for monitoring the impacts of activities on forests, native vegetation and trees. You can also monitor the impacts of activities on the environment, such as water and air quality.

Before reporting suspected breaches of environmental laws you will require evidence. It is also important to remember that the law contains certain exceptions and defences to offences. The most common defence is that a person has a permit or licence to take the action which would otherwise be an offence, such as an approval to clear native vegetation. You can also check the public register under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW) for information about existing Property Vegetation Plans (PVPs) and other consents granted relating to native vegetation. If you are unsure about whether an action is an offence or not, call the Environment Line on 131 555.

National and State enforcement authorities can issue stop work notices in many cases where unauthorised activities are occurring that harm the environment and heritage.

  • Report unlawful forestry operations on public land to the Environment Line on 131 555. To see the EPA’s recent activities regulating the operations of the Forestry Corporation of NSW, visit the EPA website.

  • To report a suspected breach of NSW planning law, contact your local council or the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. For more information about how building and development is regulated and who the responsible authority is for different types of development, see our Fact Sheet on DAs and consents. Examples of breaches include:

Under certain environmental laws, any person has the right to bring proceedings in a Court to remedy or restrain a breach. In NSW, this is mainly to the Land and Environment Court. For breaches of national environmental law, it is the Federal Court. See How can I have my say? for more information. You should contact the EDO NSW Environmental Law Line to request some initial legal advice if you would like to take this step.