Documenting reports of rural land clearing
We receive numerous calls to our legal advice line from people concerned about land clearing in their local rural areas, especially since new rural land clearing laws came into force in August 2017, with a subsequent dramatic increase in rates of clearing.
Often, clearing will be authorised under a development consent or under the rural land clearing laws. However, it can be very difficult to know whether any clearing you observe is authorised and being carried out lawfully.
The only option is to report the clearing to the regulator – in this case the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).
This form is intended to keep a record of reports made to the OEH in order to inform EDO NSW law reform and compliance work. Any information you give in this form will be kept confidential and no personal information will be made public.
Before completing the form
Before completing this form, please report the clearing you have witnessed to the OEH by calling the Environment Line on 131 555. You can make reports anonymously if you wish.
Ask for (and record) a reference number and make a note of the date and time of the report as well as who you spoke to.
Completing our form
Please provide as much detail as possible about your report and the clearing you observed, including:
- any relevant approvals you are aware of;
- the method of clearing (eg. chainsaw, bulldozer, burning);
- the type of vegetation cleared (ecological communities and/or specific species)
- estimated diameter of tree trunks;
- any known or suspected threatened species or ecological communities on site;
- any evidence of injured or killed wildlife;
- any evidence of felled hollow bearing trees;
- any evidence of soil or ground cover disturbance;
- any evidence of water pollution from run-off associated with soil disturbance;
- estimated buffer distances (if any) around streams;
- estimate of overall size of area cleared; and
- evidence of purpose of clearing (eg. crops, grazing etc).
If you have evidence of the clearing (photos, videos etc), please indicate what you have.